Toxicology Consultants and Assessment Specialists, LLC
Founded in 1988 and led by Dr. William R. Sawyer, Toxicology Consultants and Assessment
Specialists is a group of dedicated professionals working diligently to achieve
stellar results for its clients by objectively assessing toxicological evidence and
providing impartial reports and testimony. TCAS has provided toxicological
services to individual plaintiffs and defendants, corporations, local law enforcement,
attorney generals, governmental agencies and organizations covering a broad spectrum
of interests. Clients range from individuals to multi-national Fortune 500 companies
with a historical ratio of approximately 45% to 55%, defendants and plaintiffs respectively.
With a strong reputation for precision and a passion for excellence, TCAS works
closely with every client to ensure that key concerns are addressed and deadlines
are met with the highest quality of work. Through application of clear communications,
pragmatic planning and timely follow-through, TCAS has achieved an outstanding
success record in cases involving hazardous substances, alcohol, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals,
consumer products, public health, toxic torts and other highly specialized
Forensic toxicology and toxic exposure investigations include analytical protocol
and referencing of environmental and autopsy material for analyses. Environmental and
occupational health risk assessments include site-specific assessments, dose measurement
and causation determination. Final work products include scientific method references,
method validation, forensic chain-of-custody and written reports. Reports and expert
witness testimony have been provided in 34 states to date and in countries as far
away as Hong Kong.
Armed with a broad experience base, extensive technical resources and productive
support relationships with some of the best laboratories and scientists in the country,
TCAS is well positioned to provide superior toxicological assessments,
forensic analyses and a wide range of specialized consulting services. Our case
study archives highlight just a few of the more than 600 cases for which TCAS
has been retained during its 28 year history.
Dr. William R. Sawyer, Chief Toxicologist
Dr. William R. Sawyer holds a doctorate in toxicology from Indiana University School
of Medicine. He has
more than 34 years of extensive experience in public health and forensic toxicology
with specialized expertise in causation analyses (for plaintiff and defense) involving
alcohol, drugs-of-abuse, pharmaceuticals, herbal products, dioxins, solvents, heavy
metals, crude oil, radionuclides/NORM and other substances. Dr. Sawyer has testified
at trial and/or deposition in 34 states and has provided international
expert testimony as far away as Hong Kong. As a skilled scientist and communicator
in the area of toxic tort, Dr. Sawyer provides services to governmental agencies,
corporations and select plaintiffs and defendants. Dr. Sawyer currently serves as
the Chief Toxicologist for TCAS and also has been an Assistant Professor
(adjunct) for 23 years with the Department of Medicine, Upstate Medical University,
Syracuse, New York. Dr. Sawyer has approximately 14 years experience as a licensed
clinical and environmental laboratory director in several states. Dr. Sawyer is
a distance swimmer for the Gulf Coast Swim Team and has completed several "Swim
Around Key West" races, most recently in just under six hours (2nd place award). He is also a triathlete with the
distinction of being a four-time Ironman. He loves to fish and SCUBA dive in northern
New York State and the Gulf of Mexico.
Funmi Afelumo, M.S., Environmental Toxicologist
Funmi Afelumo began working with Dr. Sawyer in March 2015. He recently graduated
from the State University of New York - College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry
(SUNY-ESF) with his master's degree which focused on Plant Science and Biotechnology.
His graduate research project was in the field of phytoremediation; specifically,
increasing plant tolerance to toxic heavy metal exposure. He has been performing
research in the field of phytoremediation and environmental health and safety since
2010. He has presented his research at several conferences including those for environmental
health and biotechnology. Funmi particularly enjoys that at TCAS he is able to apply
his scientific knowledge and reasoning to help solve problems and make society
better. When not reading scientific journals and other literature, Funmi enjoys
volunteering for communiy services and hiking through New York State's beautiful parks.
Jennifer Clark, Office Manager
Jennifer Clark began working with Dr. Sawyer in 2007 after spending the previous
18 years as a full-time mom. With a background as a legal assistant prior to the
birth of her two daughters, Jen spends a considerable amount of her time interfacing
with clients as well as making sure all aspects of active cases are moving forward
smoothly. She can also often be found working on report preparation and editing
so that information is presented concisely and succinctly and always on time. Jen
loves a challenge and the fact that no two days at TCAS are the same. When not at
the office, Jen enjoys gardening, reading, camping and solving puzzles. She is also
a huge fan of the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York and spends several weeks
each summer exploring the woods and lakes with her husband, Jim, and golden retriever,
Bonnie Serling, M.S., Chemical Engineering
Bonnie Serling joined TCAS in September of 2015. Her college education
began at Clarkson University where she earned her BS in chemical engineering. She
continued her education at University of Rochester earning an MS degree (also in
chemical engineering) for her research in microcirculatory hemodynamics. Bonnie
enjoys reading, solving word and number puzzles and tackling home improvement projects.
She and her husband, Steve, have three children. As an enthusiast of problem-solving,
Bonnie enjoys investigative research and seeking answers to the challenging cases
here at TCAS.
Carol Sawyer, Accounting Manager
Carol Sawyer serves as accounting manager and bookkeeper for TCAS. By training, Carol is
a dental hygienist and graduate from Indiana University School of Dentistry. She
also has prior training and work experience in an accounting firm as a file room
clerk and has managed company records since its inception in 1988. Carol enjoys
preparing specialty foods, volunteering in her church and community, visiting barrier
island beaches, reading and just being outdoors.
Our Trusted Support Staff
TCAS is very much a "hands-on" organization. Dr. Sawyer can frequently
be found directly at the center of the information-gathering process. In these cases,
exposure information may be only partially available or even missing entirely. In such
cases the team takes proactive steps to gather evidence and compile on-site investigative
data. This is an important aspect of developing an exposure reconstruction — particularly
if a case involves demonstrating or refuting alleged causation.
The snapshots below show the team collecting water, soil, sediment and dust samples
related to recent contamination cases. Samples were labeled, catalogued, stored
and prepared for shipment to various laboratories for analyses under carefully-documented
forensic chain-of-custody procedures (in accordance with U.S. EPA methodology).
Dr. Sawyer was recently retained to serve as lead expert in a major toxicological case in Hong Kong.