Nelhs Betancourt, MD, MPH is an academically trained Occupational Medicine specialist with a very strong technical biochemistry background and board certification in Internal Medicine. He is also board certified for Toxicology. His preferred area of expertise is Occupational Toxicology. He has twenty years of experience in medical-legal determinations in the field of Occupational Medicine, and currently provides services ranging from direct clinical care to expert witness testimony.
His strong industrial process experience, biochemistry background and internal medicine knowledge complements well his occupational medicine training and experience, giving him a unique, broad-based and well-rounded area of expertise in occupational toxicology case evaluation. This knowledge base frames and provides depth to his work as an expert witness in asbestos, bauxite and benzene.
Areas of Expertise
- Alcohol, Drug & DUI Testing
- Environmental Toxicology
- Industrial Medicine
- Internal Medicine
- Occupational/Environmental Health
- Workers Compensation Insurance
- Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
- A: Academic training in chemistry and biochemistry, leading to a Masters Degree in Science (thesis not completed); Masters Degree in Preventive Medicine/Occupational Medicine from Medical College of Wisconsin. Medical degree (M.D.) with Internal Medicine Board certification. Certified MROCC (Medical Review Officer, Drug Screening).
- Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
- A: American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM)
Medical Review Officer Certification Council (MROCC)
American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT)
EK Health, Utilization Review Consulting Specialist
American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP)
Job Strain Group (research group in occupational cardiovascular stress-related conditions)
- Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
- A: I offer regular seminars to Workers' Compensation insurance adjusters, lawyers on issues such as asbestos, pesticides, and other occupational issues such as cardiovascular stress-related conditions, compensability issues in obesity-related problems.
- Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
- A: None.
- Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
- A: Innumerable times as a Workers' Compensation expert for determination of benefits, causation, apportionment. Various times as an expert in benzene-related carcinogenecity, asbestos and currently as a bauxite/asbestos expert witness in Federal proceedings.
- Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
- A: Asbestos, bauxite, benzene. Mixed dust pneumoconiosis, crystalline silica.
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
- A: 25%, now changing because current cases are predominantly plaintiff oriented.
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
- A: 75%
- Q: On how many occasions have you had your deposition taken?
- A: Innumerable times, more than 50+ times.
- Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
- A: Several weeks ago; usually get deposed 4-5 times a year, but this has been increasing in the last year or two. I am frequently chosen as an Agreed Medical Evaluator in the State of California.
- Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
- A: Twice; most cases I have had have been settled. I rarely testify in court in Workers' Compensation cases.
- Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
- A: Twice, (by plaintiff) mostly on drug testing issues.
- Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
- A: 20 years.
- Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
- A: Record review, fit-for-duty, disability evaluations, return to work, client evaluation/examination with report, Workers' Compensation, workplace walk-through, causation determination, expert testimony, consulting services in occupational medicine. Independent Medical Evaluations in Internal Medicine and Occupational Medicine.
My strong industrial process experience, biochemistry background and internal medicine knowledge gives me a unique, broad-based area of expertise that facilitates case review for utilization purposes and for treatment/case closure/ liability/ negotiation recommendations. Finally, I provide independent consulting services to various in town and out of town attorneys on toxicological matters (teaching them about toxicology, clarifying technical aspects of the case, so they can depose another expert).
- Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
- A: $500/hour; retainer fee is required.
- Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
- A: $500/hours. Documents should be submitted in electronic format (pdf) is at all possible. This also applies to deposition preparation time. All fees to be paid in advance of engagement.
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
- A: $600/hour, minimum of 4 hours (in town) or 8 hours for out of town (max of $5000/day).
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
- A: $5000/day.
- Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
- A: Travel expenses, copy fees, hotel, staff support (if needed) at negotiated rates.
References upon request.