Courts' Drug Expert Called a Fraud
DALLAS (CN) - A presumed expert in alcohol, DNA and drug testing, who has testified in hundreds of family and criminal cases, is an unqualified imposter with no college degree, according to a class action in Dallas County Court.
Lead plaintiff B.W.D. sued James W. Turnage, his company Forensic DNA & Drug Testing Services, and Medtox Scientific, in Dallas County Court.
B.W.D. claims that as a result of Turnage's flawed testimony, thousands of parents have lost access to their children and countless citizens are behind bars.
B.W.D. claims that Turnage, of Ovilla, wrongfully called him an alcohol and drug user during a custody dispute. Turnage and his Forensic DNA & Drug Testing company claim to seal and ship urine specimens to defendant Medtox Scientific, of St. Paul, Minn.
B.W.D. says Turnage holds himself out as an expert in drug testing and evaluating drug test results, and that Turnage has been appointed to do drug tests in custody disputes and criminal matters in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties for years.
"Turnage, however, lacks even the minimal educational requirements to work in any technical job in a licensed drug and alcohol testing laboratory," the complaint states. "Turner has no college degree and is not a toxicologist; he is an imposter. He has masqueraded for years as a technical or scientific expert in the field of toxicology or drug and alcohol testing and has presented himself to the public and the courts as an expert witness by disseminating non-peer review papers to the legal community that contain false scientific information and data cut and pasted without cited references."
The plaintiff claims that Turnage is qualified only to be a specimen collector, and has failed to distinguish between that job and that of a forensic toxicologist, who is a qualified expert with years of scientific training.
"The impact of Turnage's unsupervised, unchecked, unregulated mishandling of specimens and his unregulated and unqualified interpretations of test results or deliberate manipulation of the process has a far reaching effect on the citizens of Dallas, Collin, Denton and Tarrant Counties," the complaint states.
"Literally thousands of mothers and fathers have been denied possession of their children and countless number of citizens are behind bars based on Turnage's handling of the specimens and his interpretation of the test results."
B.W.D. says he submitted urine specimens to Turnage for drug tests, for a child custody matter in March 2010.
Five months later, B.W.D. claims, Turnage testified that a urine specimen he submitted that was analyzed by Medtox was invalid due to dilution.
B.W.D. claims Medtox's results did not indicate dilution and that because of Turnage's misrepresentation, he was forced to agree to weekly random urinalysis for alcohol and drugs, installation of a breathalyzer in his car for a year and other onerous terms, to maintain jint custody of his daughter.
B.W.D. also claims that Turnage spoke often with his wife's attorney about the characteristics of B.W.D.'s urine specimens, before had returned the results.
"For example, Turnage commented to wife's attorney about the color of plaintiff's specimen and conjectured that plaintiff used an additive," the complaint states. "In addition, Turnage also contacted wife's attorney to indicate that plaintiff was not going to pass the test before the test was ever sent to Medtox."
B.W.D. claims he has taken about 60 tests with other labs contemporaneously with Turnage's tests and passed all of them, yet several of Turnage's test results have come back with false positives, have been resubmitted for retesting, have been tainted or invalidated or were sent to Medtox well beyond 24 hours after collection.
"Remarkably, every time defendants tested wife, Turnage was able to have the results of her test completed within 24 hours and of course, her results, the five times she was tested, came back 'negative,'" the complaint states.
"Not once was there a challenge or a question about my wife's specimens. Even more remarkable, was that the same Medtox lab technician certified wife's specimen each time, which is more than just a remote possibility."
The complaint continues: "Because of Turnage's fraudulent behavior, plaintiff took his last test with Turnage in March of 2011. Not surprisingly, since changing labs, all of plaintiff's results have been 'negative' with no anomalies and several of wife's results have come back 'positive' for drugs or alcohol. It was not, however, until plaintiff did some additinal research on his own that he discovered that Turnage gave wife at least 29 hours advance notice of her court-ordered 'random' drug test. Shockingly, plaintiff later discovered that Turnage purposefully hid one of wife's positive drug test results. Although he shared the positive results of wife's random drug test with wife's attorney, he deliberately hid the results from plaintiff, plaintiff's lawyers and the court.
B.W.D. seeks actual and punitive damages for breach of contract, fraudulent nondisclosure, breach of fiduciary duty, aiding, abetting, defamation, civil conspiracy, negligent misrepresentation and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
He is represented by Lawrence Friedman, with Friedman & Feiger, of Dallas.