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Certified Industrial Hygienist Testimony in Personal Injury Cases: Theories of Exposure, Causation, Risk, Toxicity

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide plaintiff and defense counsel in proffering and challenging testimony from certified industrial hygienists (CIHs). CIHs may be the most important type of witness that most counsel have never heard of. Artful handing of their testimony can make or break personal injury cases arising from exposure to disease-causing materials. Both plaintiffs and defendants rely on CIHs in COVID-19, including polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), talc-asbestos, benzene, mold, and other similar litigation to show causation, prove gross negligence or prior knowledge, and effective mitigation. The program will explore the strengths and limits of CIH expertise and testimony and best strategies for presenting and challenging their testimony.


Counsel rely on CIHs to identify sources and levels of exposure to disease-causing materials like viruses, asbestos, benzene, or mold, as well as demonstrate a lack of care, improper work conditions, prior knowledge, and/or shoddy engineering. CIHs are already key witnesses in asbestos and talc cases. They should play a critical role in COVID-19 litigation to explain the physics of aerosols, how viruses can spread, the chemistry of disinfection, and effective prevention and remediation.

Plaintiffs typically use CIHs to establish exposure to support medical causation. Defense counsel must understand when reliance on peak exposure in limited circumstances undermines this testimony and differentiate "risk" from actual exposure.

Defendants often use CIHs to rebut exposure levels and frequency. Experts may have a long testimonial history. The plaintiffs must review prior testimony for indications of bias or opinions tailored to fit the client's needs. Careful attention to the CIH's report can reveal opinions based on incomplete information or even inadmissible hearsay.

Listen as this experienced panel shows how to select the CIH and challenge the other side's CIH in personal injury litigation.



  1. Overview of industrial hygiene
    1. Categories of cases where CIH are best used
    2. Scope of duties and educational qualifications to certify
  2. CIH in "dust" cases: asbestos, talc, silica
  3. CIH in organic exposures: COVID-19, mold
  4. CIH in polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) cases
  5. Proffering the CIH
  6. Cross-examining the CIH on deposition and at trial


The panel will review these and other essential topics:

  • What is a CIH and which ones make the best witnesses?
  • When is CIH testimony most useful?
  • Can employing a CIH before suit assist in settlement?
  • What are the limits of CIH knowledge and testimony, generally?
  • Does a CIH take the place of other types of experts?


Gaffrey, Marc
Marc S. Gaffrey

Hoagland Longo Moran Dunst & Doukas

Mr. Gaffrey tries asbestos cases and oversees the trial teams of several of his clients both locally in NY and NJ and...  |  Read More

Katzenstein, David
David Katzenstein

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott

Mr. Katzenstein is a litigator with over 35 years of experience in the defense of personal injury and commercial cases...  |  Read More

Scribner Tuttle, Kelly
Kelly Scribner Tuttle, PhD, CIH

Senior Toxicologist

Dr. Scribner Tuttle has experience in the fields of chemical emergency response, human and environmental toxicology,...  |  Read More

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