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Past Event
19 January 2017

United States
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. EST
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. CST
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. MST
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. PST

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. CET
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. GMT


  • Tyler D. Alfermann
    T +1 312 701 8189
  • Richard F. Bulger
    T +1 312 701 7318
  • Michael A. Olsen
    T +1 312 701 7120
  • Craig A. Woods
    T +1 312 701 8536

Additional Speakers

Dr. Suresh H. Moolgavkar 
Senior Fellow & Principal Scientist

Dr. David H. Schwartz
Head of Scientific Support to Counsel
Innovative Science Solutions

Drew Van Orden
Registered Professional Engineer
RJ Lee Group


Emerging Science and Toxic Tort Litigation: Genetic Susceptibility, Exposure Markers, and the Talc Experience

Medical causation is often a central battleground between plaintiffs and defendants in toxic tort litigation. Such fights tend to revolve around two areas: “general causation” (i.e., is an exposure to the alleged toxic substance capable of causing the disease at issue?) and “specific causation” (i.e., did the exposure cause the disease in the plaintiff?). Traditional scientific tools for evaluating both general and specific causation, while taking into account various factors that may lead to inter-individual variation, can be limited by a lack of data and rigor. Advancements in understanding disease susceptibility, including discoveries regarding genetic variations in susceptibility, are providing new data relevant to the causation inquiry. The question becomes how to utilize this information.

This webinar will focus on the use of this data in personal injury litigation involving talc. Fueled by several recent multimillion dollar verdicts, lawsuits by people with mesothelioma or ovarian cancer who allege prior talc exposure as a cause have been on the rise, and variations in genes such as BAP-1, BRCA1 and BRCA2 have often been implicated. This webinar will cover the following topics:

  • The relevance of genetic variation in susceptibility and exposure marker evidence in the talc litigation
  • How scientists and medical professionals can use information relating to individual susceptibility, including genetics, in causation analyses, as well as the limitations of this type of evidence
  • The reliability of microscopic techniques for characterizing talc mineralogy and evaluating so-called “smoking gun” evidence of past talc exposure in tissues
  • The procurement and usability of genetic evidence in toxic tort litigation
  • How genetic evidence compares with other evidence of individual susceptibility or exposure
  • Legal and strategic considerations for using genetic evidence
  • The impact that genetic evidence is likely to have in future toxic tort litigation
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