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Clark Love & Hutson

The Nationally Recognized Plaintiffs Litigation
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The Nationally Recognized Plaintiffs Litigation Law Firm

How can genetics help prove a toxic tort case?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2020 | Blog |

During a toxic tort, you must prove that your illness is a direct result of exposure to a toxic substance or medication. Also, some courts require that you also prove that your exposure to the drug or toxic substance doubled the risk of your falling ill. This requirement is often difficult to prove and may result in an unsuccessful lawsuit. 

Genetic testing, however, may be able to establish evidence in a court of law that more than meets this requirement. Alternatively, it could prove that a genetic defect is the cause of your illness as opposed to the substance or drug itself. 

Environmental susceptibility genes 

As reported on the American Bar Association’s website, more than 500 different environmental susceptibility genes are already identified by the Environmental Genome Project. A susceptibility gene is similar to a predisposition to either contract or not contract a certain disease or illness. This can be useful in helping you establish credibility during your toxic tort claim. For example, if you have a susceptibility gene present that increases your risk of cancer then coming into contact with cancer-causing substances may more than double your chances of developing cancer. 

Genetic testing can help prove or disprove a claim 

While genetic testing can help validate your claim when it comes to toxic tort cases, it can work in favor of the defense as well. For example, an individual who sues a drug company for his or her birth defect may find that their disability resulted from an inherited genetic mutation as opposed to any prenatal exposure of the drug itself. While there is much potential for genetic testing to validate toxic torts, both sides need to establish evidence aside from genetic testing alone.