Next up: Wulchin, Ward, Weitzman

November 2, 2004 8:14 pm by Gene Borio

Wednesday, HBI technician Gregory Wulchin will be called; his testimony is expected to finish by lunch time. RJR lawyer and ETS Advisory Group participant Mary Ward is slated for the afternoon.

Thursday, we expect Dr. Michael Weitzman, Executive Director of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Center for Child Health Research, to be called.

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Wulchin, Gregory A.

US Fact Witness

Mr. Wulchin worked for ACVA Atlantic, later known as Healthy Buildings International (collectively referred to at “HBI”) as a field technician from 1988 through 1993. Mr. Wulchin, as a field technician, was responsible for traveling to job sites, collecting the data, and returning the information to HBI. He did not write final reports, as those were written by Gray Robertson or Peter Binnie, Simon Turner, and John Maderis. Mr. Wulchin believed that HBI’s equipment, which included the piezo-balance machine, the particulate counter, and the carbon monoxide machine, was not used to their full potential and that the ACVA filters involved by HBI in buildings were useless. He participated in the Swiss study and understood that it was their job to show that secondhand smoke was not a problem in the buildings at issue. This study, as well as others, were paid for by TI or Philip Morris. Technicians were advised to always focus and recommend ventilation as being the key to indoor air quality. Mr. Wulchin will testify that HBI routinely altered his reports regarding ETS from unacceptable levels to acceptable levels. For example, with regard to a study of the Imperial Bank Building in San Diego, California, Wulchin examined eight of his field reports and found that false, nonsensical entries had been made by Gray Robertson. The readings of two of his field reports demonstrated unacceptably high levels of particulates from cigarette smoking in rooms where there was good ventilation. Specifically, Robertson changed the particulate measurement that Wulchin made regarding a specific sample from 150 to 75. While reviewing other reports for the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, he found that HBI altered the results of other field measurements made by him.

–Will testify that HBI stressed that field staff should focus on ventilation and that ETS could be eliminated by good ventilation practices, even though such an assertion was at odds with inspections he performed by HBI.

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Ward, Mary

US Fact Witness

Ms. Ward is the Senior Counsel for Research, Development at RJR, a position she has held since 1995. Before being promoted, Ms. Ward was Associate General Counsel at R.J.Reynolds, where she has worked since 1985.

Ms. Ward has, among other projects at R.J. Reynolds, participated in the ETS expert witness project, designed to review epidemiological principals and positions, and was involved with the Tobacco Institute ETS Advisory Group, which was not organized by the Tobacco Institute group, rather was a group with representatives from four tobacco companies (R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris, Lorillard, and Brown, Williamson), who recommended scientific projects and research regarding environmental tobacco smoke for funding. The group also included scientists and members of the Tobacco Institute. Ms. Ward was intimately involved in recommending funding for science at R.J. Reynolds, as well as formulating public statements about smoking and health.

Prior to her employment at R. J. Reynolds, Ms. Ward worked at House Blanco Randolph, Osborn, a Winston-Salem law firm.

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Weitzman, Michael M.D.

US Expert Witness

Dr. Weitzman received his B.A. from Brooklyn College in 1968 and his medical degree from the State University of New York, University Medical Center in 1972. He is licensed to practice medicine in the States of New York and Massachusetts and has been board certified in Pediatrics since 1978.

Dr. Weitzman has spent his entire career on promoting and improving the health of children. Dr. Weitzman is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He also currently serves as the Executive Director of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Center for Child Health Research, a position he has held since 1999. The Center is an independently operated branch of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a professional organization of pediatricians dedicated to funding and conducting groundbreaking research into children’s health issues. Under Dr. Weitzman’s leadership and supervision, the Center has conducted research on issues such as tobacco and kids (namely, the reduction of Environmental Tobacco Smoke exposure and the identification of smoking parents in an effort to reduce smoking rates), minority children health issues, children’s mental disabilities and disorders, and the improvement of childcare environments in an effort to prevent disease and promote health.

During his career, Dr. Weitzman has published dozens of articles and book chapters, all of which relate to critical pediatric health issues. His articles have appeared in journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, Lancet, Pediatrics, the Journal of Adolescent Health Care, and the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Before this case, Dr. Weitzman had served as an expert witness in several lead paint exposure lawsuits. In each case, he testified on behalf of the plaintiff child on the issue of the exposure of children to excessive levels of lead in paints in their homes.

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