Home » Areas of Practice » Toxic Tort

Toxic Tort Expert Witness

We provide expert damage calculation and expert witness testimony for toxic tort cases.

At The Knowles Group, we have been retained on many matters where individuals have suffered from a toxic tort such as chemical, radioactive, hazmat, or asbestos exposure. Our decades of experience will enable us to get a very accurate picture of the overall financial status of the injured party pre and post-incident.

We will help determine the loss of earnings and household services, as well as the cost of past and future medical care. We have worked on many asbestos exposure and mesothelioma cases over the years and have the experience and knowledge to calculate damages and provide expert witness testimony.

Calculating Damages in Toxic Tort Cases

In toxic tort cases, calculating damages can be very complex. It’s critical that the legal team has the expertise to analyze all of the other relevant factors to determine the extent of personal injury. The Knowles Group specializes in just this. We can take calculate damages including:

  • Cost of medical treatment
  • Adaptive and assistive devices
  • Expected future cost of medical care
  • Lost wages and earnings
  • Loss of benefits
  • Loss of household services
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Wrongful death

Expert Witness for Toxic Tort Trials

Toxic tort litigation often requires multiple expert witnesses:

Toxicology Experts – these are experts in the type of toxic substance that the plaintiff was exposed to. A toxicology expert witness has experience in chemical exposure, toxic substances, risk assessment, clinical pharmacology, respiratory infections, and public health. The role of a toxicology expert is to prove the dose-response relationship, evaluate the level of exposure, and prove causation.

Economic Experts – After establishing the foundation of a toxic tort case, the legal team must then calculate and prove damages. While non-monetary damages can be substantial in these cases, they can also be more difficult to justify. A forensic economist is the expert that will assess the records, calculate monetary damages, and provide expert testimony in court to justify the damages. The Knowles Group has a strong background in providing testimony in both federal and state courts.

Types of Toxic Tort Cases

There are several different types of toxic tort cases which require the help of a forensic economist. They usually arise in one of the following situations:

  • Prescription side-effects
  • Chemical exposure
  • Asbestos exposure
  • Toxic mold
  • Exposure to pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Construction materials
  • Mercury
  • Silica
  • Manganese
  • Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)
  • Silica
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Chromium(III) oxide
  • Sarin (nerve agents)

Pharmaceutical Drugs

Some prescription drugs can cause harmful or lethal side effects. Such anti-depressants as Zoloft and Prozac have been the subject of multiple toxic tort cases over the years. Other drugs could have unintended side effects that only show up years after taking them regularly, such as liver failure or colonic cancer.

Occupational Exposure

Many cases of toxic torts arise from occupational exposure. From chemical plants to shipyards, many workers can inhale, ingest, or otherwise be exposed to harmful or fatal chemicals, poisons, or materials. In such cases as asbestos exposure, the signs and symptoms of the disease don’t usually manifest themselves until decades after the initial exposure.

Home Exposure

Homeowners can also accidentally ingest or expose themselves to a wide variety of chemicals and hazards. Toxic mold is one of them. It comes in the form of many different types of mold which can become airborne. If a new homebuyer inhales these toxic spores, they or their children can become very ill or die.

Consumer Products

Consumer products such as pesticides, chemicals, and fertilizers can cause cancer and other reproductive harm. For example, a recent lawsuit was filed against an herbicide manufacturer in which the homeowners claimed it had given them cancer. The jury awarded them $2 billion in damages.

Mesothelioma Toxic Torts

While there are many different kinds of toxic torts, mesothelioma is one of the more common ones. In the 1960s and 1970s, many shipyards, automobile, and manufacturer workers were unknowingly exposed to asbestos. It’s very easy for workers to accidentally inhale asbestos fibers as they are very tiny and can hang around suspended in the air for hours at a time.

The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry estimates that around 27 million workers were exposed to asbestos between 1940 and 1979. Asbestos was found in many common products such as:

  • Electrical appliances
  • Gloves
  • Automobile/Train brakes
  • Mattresses
  • Lawn furniture
  • Plastics
  • Rubber

Exposure can result in a medical condition called mesothelioma, in which a cancer forms in the mesothelial lining of the lungs. This condition is almost always fatal and doesn’t show up in medical tests until decades after the exposure. By this time, there is usually nothing that can be done to cure the patient.

Occupations at High-Risk of Asbestos Exposure

Despite strict government regulation, there are many occupations today in which workers have a chance of getting exposed to asbestos. Some of those professions are:

  • Aircraft mechanics
  • Boilermakers
  • Bricklayers
  • Construction workers
  • Electricians
  • Factory workers
  • Firefighters
  • Industrial workers
  • Mechanics
  • Miners
  • Painters
  • Paper mill workers
  • Plasterers
  • Plumbers
  • Power plant workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Textile mill workers


Many older buildings were built with asbestos-containing materials such as insulation, drywall, and other fire-proofing components. Any physical damage to them can cause the asbestos fibers to dislodge and become airborne. When firefighters and other first responders come onto a rescue scene, they stand the chance of accidental exposure.


Mining is still one of the most dangerous jobs around, and workers risk asbestos exposure on a daily basis. Thousands of vermiculite and talc miners have come into contact with asbestos over the decades. The equipment that they use can also contain asbestos in the gaskets and insulation.

Factory Workers

Many factory workers are exposed daily due to them operating older machinery that has asbestos in the insulation and other parts. They may not even be aware that the machines they use contain it.

Construction Workers

While modern construction materials are relatively asbestos-free, many construction workers can still get exposed when they perform demolition work. For example, many apartments have asbestos fibers inside the ceilings and walls.

Materials that contain asbestos help regulate heat and cold inside the apartment or house. If the material isn’t sent to a lab and tested before demolition work begins on a building, anyone who enters the house or building can become exposed due to the lightweight microscopic fibers having the ability to “float” in the air for long periods.

Textile Mill Workers

Many of the products manufactured in textile mills from the 1940s to the 1970s contained asbestos. Rugs, carpets, and even some clothing lines were made from the cancer-causing material.

While it’s no longer being used as a textile material, many textile workers in this day and age are still routinely being exposed to asbestos. The machinery and equipment they use could be contaminated with asbestos if it’s older and hasn’t been adequately maintained.

Do you need a toxic tort expert witness testimony?

Toxic Tort Forensic Economist

At the Knowles Group, we have over 30 years of experience testifying in both state and federal court for mesothelioma and other toxic tort cases.

We’re one of the premier toxic tort expert witness firms around. Give us a call at (206) 860-9477 or contact us via our website to learn more about the forensic economist services that we offer to our clients.