Donald C. Sinclair II

Biography

An experienced litigator, Mr. Sinclair concentrates his practice on occupational and environmental litigation in the energy and transportation sectors, including water, air, and soil quality; industrial noise and vibration; occupational diseases; toxic torts; toxic and traumatic encephalopathies, seizures, and syncope; the evidence-based determination of medicolegal causation; and the admissibility of novel and complex scientific evidence.

Mr. Sinclair is a member of the firm’s Emerging Contaminants Team.

In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Sinclair is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Utah School of Medicine, Division of Occupational Health.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained unanimous defense verdict at jury trial in Kentucky State Court on behalf of an oil and gas operator in an environmental exposure action alleging toxic encephalopathy as a consequence of a noxious gas exposure
  • Defended oil and gas exploration and production company before the West Virginia Mass Litigation Panel in claims involving air, soil, and water quality related to natural gas extraction and transmission
  • National Coordinating Counsel for Class I Railroad for the defense of occupational disease claims
  • Defended a Fortune 500 steel manufacturer against multiple actions alleging toxic encephalopathy as a consequence of a noxious gas exposure at trial and defended verdict on appeal
  • Counseled clients on the development of legally sustainable medical fitness for duty guidelines, including sudden incapacitation of employees in safety sensitive positions related to seizures, syncope, and cardiovascular events
  • Tried numerous occupational and environmental disease actions to verdict for clients in the transportation, manufacturing, and energy sectors nationally
  • Engaged in numerous preliminary hearings to determine the admissibility of novel and complex scientific evidence for clientele in the transportation, manufacturing, and energy industries in federal and state courts nationally

Licensed In

  • Maine
  • Missouri
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • West Virginia

Education

  • J.D. West Virginia University College of Law
  • B.A. West Virginia Wesleyan College

Memberships

  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Committee ASC2, Human Exposure to Whole Body Vibration and Repeated Shock (past member)
  • Delegate, U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee TC108, Mechanical Vibration and Shock, Scientific Committee SC4, Human Exposure to Vibration and Shock (past member)
  • Wheeling Symphony Orchestra Emeritus Member of the Board of Directors
  • American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Associate Member
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Executive Committee Member and Past Southeast Region Vice President

Achievements

  • 2019 Recipient of the Paul S. Richards, MD, Endowed Distinguished Visiting Lectureship in Occupational Medicine, The Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Transportation Law (2018-Present)
  • American Inns of Court – Master of the Bench

Speaking Engagements

  • Medical Expert Witness Testimony – Imperatives, Principles, and Methodologies. 2023. The Montana State Fund 21st Annual Medical Conference, Whitefish, Montana.
  • “The Role of the Epidemiological and Exposure Sciences in the Resolution of Medicolegal Disputes.” The Paul S. Richards, MD, Endowed Chair Distinguished Visiting Lectureship in Occupational Medicine, National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), Salt Lake City, Utah, 2019.
  • “Analysis of Groundwater Contamination Actions in the Oil and Gas Industry.” Shale Gas Law Conference. West Virginia University College of Law, Morgantown, WV, 2019.
  • “Epidemiology in the Courtroom ‚Äì The Evidence-Based Determination of Causation in Medicolegal Proceedings,” The Montana State Fund 18th Annual Medical Conference. Helena, MT, 2018.
  • “Evaluation of Industrial Noise in the Oil and Gas Industry.” 2017 Energy and Mineral Law Foundation Annual Institute. Williamsburg, Virginia 2017 Energy and Mineral Law Foundation Annual Institute. Williamsburg, Virginia
  • “Analysis of Groundwater Quality in Environmental Litigation Related to Industrial Processes, Chemical Spills, and Inadvertent Discharges.” 2017 National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel Special Litigation Conference XXVII, Snowmass, CO.
  • “Mild Traumatic Brain Injury – Evidence-Based Classification and Evaluation in Litigation.” 2015National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel Winter Meeting, Palm Springs, CA.
  • “Medical Fitness for Duty Guidelines and the Americans with Disabilities Act – Legal Implications for Employers.” 14th Annual National Compensation Insurance ExecuSummit, Uncasville, CN.
  • “Enforcement of Medical Fitness for Duty Guidelines and the Americans With Disabilities Act – The Business Necessity and Direct Threat Defenses.” National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel Winter Meeting, St. Petersburg, FL.
  • “Defining Acceptable and Persistent Risk of Sudden Incapacitation Among Transportation Workers in Safety Critical Positions.” American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Annual Occupational Health Conference, Baltimore, MD.
  • “Prescription Drugs and Safety at Work – Scientific Assessment of Risk, Legal and Policy Implications, and Practical Guidance for Physicians.” American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Annual Occupational Health Conference, Baltimore, MD.
  • “Whole Body Vibration and Repeated Shock Exposure Aboard Railroad Maintenance-of-Way Machinery.” National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel Winter Meeting, Phoenix, AZ.
  • “The Convergence of Law and Science – Evidence-Based Medicine as Regulatory Policy.” 2011 Musculoskeletal Disorders and Chronic Pain, Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability (CIRPD), Los Angeles, CA
  • “Evaluating Feigned Cognitive Impairment – The Neuropsychology of the Malingering Mind.” National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Special Litigation Conference XXI, Park City, UT.
  • “In the Cauldron – Science in the Courtroom.” 2011 The American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX.

Publications

  • Sinclair, DC. 2023. Medical Expert Witness Testimony – Principles and Practice. In: Moser’s Effective Management of Health and Safety Programs – A Practical Guide, Ch. 24, 4th Ed., Hegmann KT and Hughes M, Eds., OEM Press, Beverly Farms, Mass.
  • Sinclair, DC, Hegmann, KT, and Holland, JP. 2021. Acceptable Risk of Sudden Incapacitation Among Safety Critical Transportation Workers – a Comprehensive Synthesis. J. Occup. Envir. Med. 63(4):329-342.
  • Bruns, D, Warren, P, et al. 2019. American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Workplace Mental Health Guideline, MDGuidelines©. Web, Hegmann, KT, Ed., www.mdguidelines.com. Reed Group, Ltd., accessed Mar. 31, 2019. Sinclair, DC. Consultant to the Panel.
  • Greaves, WW, Das, R, Green-McKenzie, J, Sinclair, DC, Hegmann, KT. 2018. Work-Relatedness. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 60(12):e640-646; Greaves, W.W., Das, R., Green-McKenzie, J., Sinclair, D.C. 2018. Work-Relatedness, MDGuidelines®.Web, Hegmann, K.T., Ed., www.mdguidelines.com. Reed Group, Ltd.
  • Sinclair, DC, 2017. Evaluation of Industrial Noise in the Oil and Gas Industry. In 38 Energy & Min. L. Inst., Ch. 3, Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, Lexington, KY.
  • Sinclair, DC. 2010. Epidemiology in the Courtroom – an Evidence-Based Paradigm for the Determination of Causation in Compensation Environments. J. Occup. Envir. Med., 52(4):1-6.

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