Friday, July 12, 2013

You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

Fine dining can be a pleasant experience with a loved one celebrating a special occasion. The superb food, service, and atmosphere can make you forget your worries even for just awhile. However, your mood can suddenly change when you start feeling unpleasant because of something in your food or drinks.

Sometimes the discomfort can be short-lived and you can easily recover with a drink of water. But other times, it can be a serious case of food poisoning that requires hospitalization. When this happens, you may have to demand compensation from the restaurant owner for the inconveniences caused and the expenses incurred. All ends well if the owner decides to settle the matter amicably, but in other cases, it may be more difficult and you'll have to go to court.

In this instance, you have to seek the support of a medical expert to prove that you were indeed poisoned by the food or drinks served by the restaurant. If you can't get such testimony, the case can drag for a long time and become a you-said-and-they-said scenario. Nothing may ever be resolved and even if you were indeed poisoned, the blame may be placed somewhere else.

With a medical expert by your side, however, winning your case can be like having your cake and eating it too. You can be sure of victory.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Legal Cases and Forensic Toxicology

The case of the Hinkley groundwater contamination in the 1990's opened the world not only to the investigative skills of Erin Brokovich, but also to the importance of forensic toxicology. Over the course of the investigation and trial of the case, it was established that the drinking water in Hinkley homes was contaminated with hexavalent chromium, a chemical used by the Pacific Gas & Electric company to prevent rust in their machinery. The hexavalent chromium eventually leaked into the drinking water supply of the Hinkley homes. Forensic toxicology established that the hexavalent chromium present in the drinking water caused serious illnesses, including cancer, among many of the residents of Hinkley.

Forensic toxicology is the study of various kinds of poisons, poisonous materials, their effects on living things, and any role poison may play in a crime. Poisons can come in many shapes and forms. Hexavalent chromium, for example, is an industrial chemical used to treat metals that just so happens to be carcinogenic (or cancer-causing) to humans.

Aside from industrial and clinical poisons, there are also environmental poisons, or substances found naturally in our surroundings. Examples of these are molds and radon, as well as toxins from certain mushrooms and plants.

Forensic toxicologists are involved in the investigation of cases where poison may be involved, whether deliberately or not. These include drug and alcohol testing for DUI cases and environmental contamination cases, just like the Hinkley groundwater incident.