Do a general search on google (http://www.google.com/) for “chemical name and lawsuits”. There are many informational legal websites that will link to related resources and/or contain verified literature resources.
Beware of scam websites and unverified information. There are those who tend to “jump” on the bandwagon when a toxic tort claim is filed. They have bold headlines, eye catching claims and in general hold themselves out to represent clients in toxic tort claims. But in truth have not performed any initial investigation. The purpose of these websites is to sign up clients, then refer them to the firms that actually investigate and work up the case.
Get CAS number of chemical. If you don’t know the CAS number you can find it using Google (http://www.google.com/) by doing a search for “CAS number chemical name”.
Go to the news search feature of Google (http://www.google.com/ – click on NEWS). Check for news articles related to the chemical by using the chemical name and doing a search at this tab. You can also set up a “news alert” which will send to your email news stories related to the chemical and/or it’s manufacturer as soon as they are released.
Do a search on using either the chemical name or CAS number, this site links to various sites which discuss exposure and other issues.
At this site, search for “chemical name AND morbidity” “chemical name AND mortality” and see what articles are found. Some may reference exposure hazards not reported in the news services. At this site you can also search for chemical name and particular condition your client experienced after exposure.
Finally, be sure to get a complete client intake interview identifying all potential sources of exposure. That includes residential history, educational history, occupational history (even part time jobs are important) medication history, and medical/surgical history. It is good to go back as far in time as the client is able. Some exposures that occur in childhood take years to impact an individual’s health.
Do not to forget to have potential clients send a letter per 29CFRl9l0 to employer demanding any and all information on what they may have been exposed to, including the OSHA logs for last 3 years listing such exposure etc. They have to provide information at no cost right away.
Scientific Evidence – Resources for Daubert/Frye:
Federal Judicial Center: (http://air.fjc.gov/). This site contains many resources that can be downloaded including the 1994 and 2000 Reference Manual on Scientific evidence, Manual For Complex Litigation and more plus links to Federal District Courts. This is the best place to start learning about scientific principles as well as use of scientific evidence in Federal Courts. This manual contains an explanation of key Supreme Court Cases on scientific evidence-Daubert, Joiner and Kuhmo. In addition, the manual contains sections explaining principles of science and areas of expert testimony including toxicology, epidemiology and engineering.
To aid the study of The Reference Manual on Scientific evidence click on these links to open PDF files of landmark decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court involving scientific evidence – 1. General Electric v. Joiner and Kuhmo Tire v. Carmichael.