Articles & Publications 02.06.24

The Significance of Genetic Mutations in Toxic Tort Cases, Published in The Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

In an article published on 2/5 in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Shareholder Anthony (Tony) Sbarra discusses the impact of genetic mutations in toxic tort cases, focusing specifically on cancer-related illnesses such as mesothelioma. Tony explores the central question in toxic tort cases—identifying the cause of the disease. 

Genetic science, highlighted by experts, is introduced as a pivotal factor in this inquiry, bringing new dimensions to the understanding of toxic tort cases. "Genetic science is adding to the mix and providing information that, in the right case, changes the equation entirely," writes Tony.  

Tony suggests that genetic testing can be a defense in toxic tort cases, challenging assumptions about environmental toxins as exclusive causes and advocating against automatic categorization of plaintiffs with germline mutations.

"When examining a toxic tort/cancer case, it may not always be the "environment" or the "toxin" that is the culprit. If a plaintiff has an appropriate family history of cancer, genetic testing may provide a viable defense."

To read the story in full, click here