Secondhand smoke (SHS) is a known cause of cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, and other ailments. However, these diseases have a multiplicity of causes. Defendants claim SHS exposures are "low" and other sources created the illness. Plaintiffs claim "high" exposures to SHS caused their disease. In the world of toxic torts litigation involving allegations of injury from secondhand smoke, how does the expert witness use multidisciplinary science and technology in the investigation and establishment of facts and evidence in a court of law? Cases have been brought on behalf of railroad conductors, casino dealers, flight attendants, laborers, nurses, barbers, bartenders, prisoners, office workers, and even condo owners. How have they fared in high stakes litigation, and what does it take to prove a case?
James Repace, MSc., is a biophysicist and an international secondhand smoke consultant who has published 83 scientific papers, 70 of which concern the hazard, exposure, dose, risk, and control of secondhand smoke. He has received numerous national honours, including the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute Distinguished Professor Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Innovator Award, the Surgeon General's Medallion, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Public Health Association. He holds an appointment as a Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor at the Tufts University School of Medicine, and is a consultant to Stanford doing research on secondhand smoke in casinos. He is a former senior policy analyst and scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, serving on both the Air Policy and Indoor Air Staffs, Office of Air and Radiation, and in the Exposure Analysis Division, Office of Research and Development. He served as a consultant to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, on its proposed rule to regulate secondhand smoke and indoor air quality. He was also a research physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory in the Ocean Sciences and Electronics Divisions. His degrees are from the Polytechnic University of New York; he has also pursued post-masters' studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC.