Benzene Injury Law

Benzene Injury Law Blog

The Importance of Expert Witnesses in Benzene Toxic Tort Cases

Why are experts important in a benzene toxic tort case? In toxic tort cases, a plaintiff must prove that the defendants are responsible for the injury or diagnosis.

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           Hughes Law Offices works with experts who connect benzene exposures to leukemia and other cancers. The petrochemical industry has known that benzene exposures can cause leukemia since the 1940s. Despite that, experts are still needed to demonstrate that a chemical, like benzene, is capable of causing cancers, such as acute myeloid leukemia. Experts also identify the level of exposure at which the risk for leukemia or cancer becomes elevated.

           The qualifications of an expert witness are crucial. The experts must have the necessary knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education to assist the jurors. Expert witnesses who are retained to provide expert testimony often provide a written report. This report includes a complete statement of all opinions the expert will express and the basis for the opinions. A compelling, well-written expert report is essential. A good expert report also highlights the strengths of the case to the defendants and can help settle a case. Expert reports will connect the benzene-containing products used by clients to their resulting disease, whether it is myelodysplastic syndrome, or multiple myeloma.

           Unreliable or irrelevant causation testimony by an expert witness can cause plaintiffs to lose their cases. For example, in Watts v. Radiator Specialty Co., a 72 year-old mechanic was diagnosed with small-cell lymphocytic lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The plaintiff ultimately lost his case because the court found the testimony by the plaintiff’s expert witness was scientifically unreliable, and thus inadmissible.  While our firm was not involved in that matter, it certainly emphasizes the need for working with proven experts.

           Benzene cases are complex matters. The chemical industry has many attorneys and the best experts that money can buy. At Hughes Law Offices, we work with highly credentialed experts who care about workplace safety, reliable epidemiology and established medical principles. Call us today at 1-800-BENZENE to find out if you have a claim against the manufacturers of benzene containing products.

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