For more than 28 years expert toxicologist Dr. William R. Sawyer has been providing
forensic toxicology consulting services and expert testimony. A diplomate of the
American Board of Forensic Medicine, Dr. Sawyer has extensive experience in public
health and forensic toxicology, specializing in causation analyses (plaintiff and
defendant, criminal prosecution and defense), exposures and risk assessments involving dioxins, solvents, heavy metals, crude
oil, alcohol, drugs-of-abuse, pharmaceuticals, herbal products, radionuclides/NORM
and many other substances. Clients range from individuals to multi-national Fortune 500 companies
with a historical ratio of approximately 45% to 55% defendants and plaintiffs respectively.
As a toxicologist with board certifications in forensic medicine and forensic examinations,
Dr. Sawyer routinely provides impartial toxicological evaluations involving chemical
exposures, alcohol ingestion, intentional poisonings in homicides, carcinogens,
pharmaceuticals, pyrolysis products, heavy metals, organic chemicals and drugs of
abuse in civil and criminal litigation. With more than 23 years of laboratory experience and 14 years of experience
as a licensed environmental and clinical laboratory director in New York State, Dr. Sawyer
has directed forensic laboratory analyses, sampling protocols and chain-of-custody
documentation in numerous criminal and civil investigations. He is also a recognized specialist
in forensic petroleum analyses (including LNAPL) as well as environmental and
clinical analyses involving crude oil and petroleum-related exposures.
Mass Toxic Torts
As a scientist and public communicator in the area of toxic torts, Dr. Sawyer provides
services to select plaintiffs and defendants, corporations, local law enforcement
and governmental agencies. He has testified in trial or deposition in
34 states (AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA,
ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI and
WV) as well as in foreign countries as far away as Hong Kong. He has been frequently
interviewed by news media and has broad
experience in matters involving public scrutiny. A
recent case study illustrates how the causative methods applied by the lead
toxicologist in a well-publicized mass toxic tort matter can have a pivotal impact
on the case outcome.
What is a Forensic Toxicologist?
Toxicologists study the effects of exposure to harmful chemicals and substances.
The application of scientific knowledge and medical principles to solve legal problems
is carried out by the forensic toxicologist. The Latin root word for forensic is
forensis meaning forum or public debate. Historically, the term
was used in ancient Rome with respect to business, governmental debates and actions
by courts of law.
Today, the expert toxicologist is responsible for determining
what adverse effects and at what dosage a given substance has on humans, animals, biological
systems and/or the environment. An expert toxicologist must have extensive knowledge
and experience in biology, chemistry and the medical sciences with specialized
training in toxicology, generally through a medical school. The expert toxicologist
is able to apply these disciplines effectively to a broad spectrum of forensic matters.
Toxicology Consultants & Assessment Specialists
For more than 28 years, Toxicology Consultants and Assessment Specialists, LLC,
(TCAS) has been providing professional toxicological consulting and expert
opinions to legal firms, corporations and governmental agencies. TCAS offers a full
range of expert toxicological evaluation specialties with final reports or affidavits
as requested. We routinely work throughout the United States and Canada including the
Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Hong Kong with offices in Florida and New York.
TCAS provides comprehensive forensic and environmental exposure analyses, risk assessments
and causation determinations. Dr. Sawyer performs the initial research, testing
and exposure and dose calculations necessary to assess potential or alleged toxic
exposures in criminal homicide matters, accidental poisonings, alleged alcohol intoxication
matters, medical malpractice involving pharmaceuticals and chemical exposure causation
Toxicological Expertise and Specializations
- Causation analyses and written reports based upon scientific, peer-reviewed methodologies
- Expert toxicology reports, affidavits of merit (including forensic toxicological
assessment and toxicological cause of death or disease)
- Community health risk assessment preparation and mass toxic tort evaluations
- Environmental exposure evaluation, testing and assessment reports
- Chemical exposure and morbidity/mortality causation assessments
- Industrial health safety and material safety data sheet (MSDS) assessments
- Occupational exposures
- Analytical forensic and environmental laboratory expertise (licensed director for 14 years)
- Crude oil toxicology and petroleum product toxicity
- Alcohol toxicology, dram shop litigation, drugs-of-abuse
- Pharmaceutical medical malpractice
- Carbon monoxide exposure and toxicity evaluations
- Petroleum spill analyses (source, age, analytical I.D., etc.)
- Herbal products
- Carcinogens, birth defects, neurotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, dermatological and
- Dioxin toxicology
- Adverse health effects from mold and fungi
- Asbestos toxicology
- Extensive experience with janitorial product chemical safety
- Toxicology of drugs-of-abuse including marijuana/cannabis/THC, heroin, morphine,
methadone, all opioids, cocaine, etc.
- Expertise with heavy metals, dioxins, volatile and semivolatile organic chemicals
- Cosmetic, hair and beauty products safety
- Emergency telephone consultation with an expert toxicologist with respect to chemical
spills or public health emergencies
- Medical marijuana fuungicide/product safety
Routine clients include defendants and plaintiffs in both public and private matters,
nationally-recognized plaintiff and defense law firms involved in criminal and civil
litigation, several state attorney general offices and the Office of the U.S.
Attorney (Dept. of Justice). Other toxicological clients include municipalities,
district attorney criminal prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys as well as private industry
clients engaged in health and safety assessments. Referrals from past clients
are available upon request.
A Message from Dr. Sawyer
"Some professionals in my field routinely delegate tasks to others. I prefer
to be directly at the center of the information gathering, exposure and causation
assessment process. In some cases, this information may be only partially available
or even missing entirely. In such cases I take proactive investigative steps to
gather evidence and develop data as part of an exposure reconstruction, particularly
if a case involves demonstrating or refuting causation."
"Toxic exposure investigations include analytical protocols, referral of autopsy
material for analysis, environmental and occupational health risk assessments, site
assessment and causation determination. With deposition and/or trial expertise in
more than 30 states, I am mindful of the need for the judge and jury to understand scientific
concepts. Final work products include comprehensive demonstratives, citation and
validation of scientific methods, forensic documentation and written reports used
in both forensic and routine (non-judicial) assessments for multiple nationwide
"Through education, training and hands-on experience, I have gained extensive
expertise in forensic toxicology (such as petroleum analyses involving LNAPL) as
well as environmental and clinical forensic analyses. With more than 23 years of
laboratory experience and more than 14 years as an environmental and clinical laboratory
director in multiple states, I have directed a wide range of forensic laboratory
analyses, sampling protocols and critical studies in criminal and civil matters.
I have also provided petroleum spill assessments to multiple clients including governmental
environmental agencies (such as NYSDEC), departments of justice, various state attorney
general offices, defense and plaintiff law firms and industry including major oil
companies and refineries. Rest assured your case will reside in the hands of an
expert who insists on thorough and accurate results."
Areas of Expertise
Click on any area to view additional information
About This Toxicology Website
Dr. Sawyer decided to make this toxicology website both informational and instructional.
To that end, he assembled a collection of
case studies in toxicology from the TCAS archives. These case reviews
illustrate fundamental principles of today's complex and demanding toxicological
disciplines. It is our hope that these case studies will familiarize and educate
readers with basic concepts in forensic toxicology.
Additionally, reference pages
have been provided to assist in understanding the role of an expert toxicologist
in an exposure assessment. Numerous scholarly, peer-reviewed resources have been
cited regarding different types of toxic substances. The Search box at
the top of each page permits site-wide searching for any word or phrase. Dr. Sawyer's
Curriculum Vitae is
also available for review. Additional resources can be found in the navigation areas
(above and below).
Content references have been included as footnotes wherever possible. Most of the images in
this website originated with TCAS. Images originating elsewhere are cited
with respect to sources and links to points of origin are provided wherever possible.
Although we encourage you to make constructive use of our information, please note
that all content presented in this website is copyrighted and may be reproduced
or distributed only with prior permission from TCAS.
We welcome you and hope you'll find the TCAS website to be useful.