From air to ground to water to all things of natural beauty, a pollution expert witness can help you see what your eyes might not. Signs of pollution can be as obvious as black smoke, but often enough it’s microscopic.
Let’s take a minute to consider polluted water. Household greywater discharge. Sewage. Poisonous metals. I’m saying this in plain English, but we could easily sip into the multi-syllabic meter of Dimethyl Disulfide, Methyl Carpatan, Sulfur Dioxide, or other, regulated chemicals.
In cases from cruise ships to oil rigs, pollution expert witnesses are battling it out over the effects of various substances upon our body and our property. Pollution or environmental expert witness for plaintiffs are more typically asserting that current standards are antiquated and have not kept pace with modern science. For the defense, pollution expert witnesses attack the lack of scientific basis for a connection between the alleged offender and the alleged harm suffered.
The pollution expert witness may be coming in with scientific evidence than is smaller in size and breadth than we are used to seeing in, for example, medical malpractice cases. Indeed, the paucity of research is part of how the conflicting expert witness testimony is so routinely reported in cases where we see pollution expert witnesses, such as toxic tort cases.
One fascinating aspect of the work done by the pollution expert witness goes beyond the science and into the longevity of the materials asserted to have cause the injuries that may have taken years to manifest. The pollution expert witness can take a bit of a forensic twist, bringing forth projections and models on the lifespan of chemicals and changes to their stability or composition as they age.
And then, the pollution expert witness might testify to the cause and effect of the pollutant upon the human body and the environment. The pollution expert witness might testify to laboratory studies conducted on animals or limited studies of humans displaying particular signs or symptoms located in clusters. This testimony then has to account for any pre-existing conditions, other environmental and genetic factors, and the question of time.
The pollution expert witness covers everything from what we can see to the invisible, and offers both insight and nexus between the pollutant and our bodies and property. Far from a simple addition to the witness list in a case, the pollution expert witness can be the pivotal and directly opposed expert testimony that goes to the literal minutea of the issues.
By: Paloma A. Capanna, Attorney at Law