ToxicoGenomica Blog

How hidden protective mutations can change the course of a toxic tort case

Identifying protective mutations through comprehensive genetic screening gives litigators more leverage to argue disease causation in court. Protective mutations are certain altered points in an individual’s DNA that can give them robust resistance to developing disease even if exposed to a known causative agent. Accordingly, if genetic testing shows that a particular person harbors resistance […]

Findings from new ALS genetics study could change courtroom arguments

Stakeholders involved in toxic tort litigation involving Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) will want to understand the implications of a recent study that identified previously unknown genetic factors involved in the development of this disease. The authors explained that the results are notable for multiple reasons, including “reveal[ing] genetic variants that protect against ALS by reducing […]

Newly discovered features of glioblastoma could change the course of legal defenses

Legal defenses in toxic tort cases regarding mesothelioma or lymphoma are increasingly dependent on genetic evidence demonstrating genetic predisposition – i.e., demonstrating that the cancer was caused by genetic defects that the plaintiff inherited. In the case of other cancers, however, litigators may face a lack of data supporting legal arguments of predisposition. For litigators […]

New clarity on cancer causation with the very first, gap-free sequence of the human genome

Two decades after the initial draft from the Human Genome Project, the very first seamless and gap-free sequence of the entire human genome has been completed by the Telomere to Telomere (T2T) consortium. Researchers involved in the breakthrough call this advancement “[critical] for understanding the genetic contributions to certain diseases”. In toxic tort, this advancement […]

Federal MDL Judge Issues Lone Pine Order Requiring Precise Form of Genetic Testing for 1,700 Mass Tort Claims

The well-known life sciences legal expert Jim Beck published a blog post this week covering a recent toxic tort case that included a very precise use of genetic evidence. In the publication, Mr. Beck describes a recent instance of a federal MDL judge issuing a Lone Pine order that compels plaintiffs to provide genomic data […]

ToxicoGenomica at Perrin Conference 2022: Cancer Causation in Toxic Tort Cases

The recent Perrin Conference on Cutting-Edge Issues in Asbestos Litigation (March 7 and 8, 2022) included a panel on the very cutting edge topic of using genetic sequencing data in litigation involving mesotheliomas and other cancers. Our Kirk Hartley presented and covered a wide range of topics at some of the many intersections between science […]

Upcoming Perrin Conference on Cutting-Edge Issues in Asbestos Litigation: Beverly Hills, CA

The use of genomic analysis to evaluate mesothelioma causation is a topic that will be covered at the upcoming Perrin Conference on Cutting-Edge Issues in Asbestos Litigation. As part of a panel, ToxicoGenomica’s Kirk Hartley will discuss several topics at the intersections between genomic science and law. One portion of his talk will focus on […]

Using Genomic Analyses in High Value Situations [Slides for Download]

At our recent conference Genomic Analysis in Tort Cases, the last panel of the conference focused on uses for genomics in “high value” settings, including a further focus on uses in cancer cluster cases and medical monitoring cases. Panelists discussed by genomics may represent the best defense in a cancer cluster case, and Kirk Hartley provided a […]

Graphical Illustration of the Difference Between Genetic Susceptibility and Predisposition [Slides for Download]

At our recent conference Genomic Analysis in Tort Cases, one of the panels focused primarily on communicating genomic issues to juries and judges, including extensive slides and comments from Magna Legal on communicating the concepts of genetic predisposition and “susceptibility” to cancer, where the defense often seeks to make genetic predisposition arguments and plaintiffs often […]

Genomic Causation Analyses for Claims Involving Environmental Pollution, Pathogen Tracking and Cancer Clusters [Slides for Download]

At our recent conference Genomic Analysis in Tort Cases, panelists presented examples of results in “environmental cases” in which genomic analyses was used to provide objective evidence to trace sources of exposure and dispersal, and uses of genomic analyses for cancer cluster cases. The panel provided the perspective that genomics are well-suited to the injuries […]