Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Need for a Medical Expert Witness and Other Facts about Toxic Torts

"In general, physical injury cases are easy to sort out in terms of what exactly happened to whom, like a victim who suffered fractured limbs from a car accident for instance. Toxic tort cases, on the other hand, are rarely as telling. Most of the time, for an attorney to successfully give justice to his client, a reliable medical expert witness should be hired. Here are some basic facts about the technical realm of toxic tort claims and litigation that every lawyer should arm themselves with."

Friday, June 27, 2014

Forensic Toxicology and the Law: Working Together Against DUI Defenses

"Calling in the Cavalry This is when expert witnesses like Dr. Nachman Brautbar of Environmental Diseases are called in. Whether it be for the prosecution or the defense, witnesses who are certified experts on forensic toxicology can review the DUI testing process in every stage, and they will find out if there was indeed any flaw in the procedure which could significantly influence the verdict. If DUI offenders are getting smarter, then prosecutors’ job of delivering justice just got tougher. Thankfully, they can still rely on the services of a reputable, expert forensic toxicologist to ensure that the medical aspects of a DUI case process is done right and free of potential conviction-reversing flaws."

Monday, June 16, 2014

Famous Killings by Poisoning Throughout History

Before the advent of artificial chemicals and the advancement of toxicology, numerous killings throughout human history have been committed using natural poisons. Here are some of the most famous ones.

Socrates – The famous Greek philosopher was sentenced to death by drinking hemlock, which is derived from a highly toxic flowering plant of the same name. Indigenous to Europe and South Africa, hemlock works by inducing paralysis and gradual shut down of all major bodily functions.

Emperor Claudius – The Ancient Roman Emperor Claudius was killed by the poison master Locusta using nightshade, a kind of poisonous berry. Both the plant’s berries and leaves are extremely poisonous, and were a known component in the manufacture of poison-tipped arrows.

The U.S. and U.K. poisonings – Conducted by the serial killer Dr. Thomas Neill Cream between 1881 and 1892, the murders were committed using strychnine, a substance much like hemlock. Cream killed seven women and a man during the time period by giving the victims strychnine as medicine.

Borgia Family Guests – Numerous political enemies of the powerful Italian Borgia family were killed using arsenic during the Renaissance. They did the heinous act by mixing arsenic with the wine, which they then served to their guests/enemies at local gatherings.

The technology back then may not have been enough to prevent such killings, but thanks to advanced toxicology practices available today, we can now easily track and speedily make perpetrators pay for their deeds, as well as save lives in the process.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Real CSI: Forensic Toxicology Clinches Cases

When people hear the word “forensics,” the image that most likely pops up in their mind is that of the scientist-detectives of the popular CSI show. However, the pop culture image is far from the truth. Crime scene investigators do exist, but what they mostly do is gather the evidence. The bulk of the real crime-solving is done inside the laboratories.

Most of the heavy lifting is done by specialists in forensic toxicology. They are the ones who help identify any foreign substances found in the scene of the crime. This expert knowledge is why many forensic toxicologists are called to the stand during trials; their expertise can help prove the guilt or innocence of a defendant.

An example of a case where forensic toxicology greatly helps is in drunk-driving cases, wherein knowing the precise level of alcohol in a person’s blood can ultimately determine the verdict. Another use for it is to identify if someone has recently used illegal drugs.

Testimony from an expert forensic toxicologist can also help lawsuits against companies that have endangered people because of their illegal practices. Tests would determine if pollutants can be found in the local drinking water or if a contractor has used too much asbestos in a construction project. When proof beyond reasonable doubt is needed, the scientific results of a toxicology test are hard to beat.