CHICAGO, Sept. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Willowbrook families filed a class action lawsuit against Sterigenics International LLC and GTCR LLC on September 20 for their decades-old emissions of a highly carcinogenic chemical compound called ethylene oxide.
Sterigenics has been operating a facility in Willowbrook, Illinois since 1984 and uses ethylene oxide to sterilize food/spice products, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment. The United States Department of Health and Human Services released an August 2018 consultation letter regarding the health impacts from ethylene oxide emissions and concluded that Willowbrook residents and workers alike are at an increased risk of cancer and other health problems, such as neurological effects, respiratory and gastrointestinal effects.
Todd A. Smith and Brian LaCien, attorneys from the law firm of Power Rogers & Smith of Chicago, and Stephen Tillery and John Libra, attorneys from the law firm of Korein Tillery, made the filing today at the Cook County Courthouse in Chicago, Illinois.
"These families and many others in the area now have to go about their daily lives knowing they're living and breathing a harmful, carcinogenic chemical that shouldn't have been used in the first place," Smith said, referencing Sterigenics' ethylene oxide emissions.
The lawsuit filed contains 5 counts, including claims for negligence and strict liability from the severe injuries suffered as a result of ethylene oxide inhalation, claims for nuisance and trespass for the contamination on property, and near their property, and a claim for fraudulent concealment for Sterigenics' decades-long cover up of ethylene oxide's highly carcinogenic nature. The suit contends that for 34 years, Sterigenics has knowingly emitted ethylene oxide into the air, allowing Willowbrook and the surrounding area to be contaminated by a highly carcinogenic chemical.
"This chemical, ethylene oxide, has been a known human carcinogen in the United States and international world since the mid-20th century," said LaCien. "Sterigenics needs to be held responsible for the injuries they've caused and the damage they've done to families and their homes."
SOURCE Power Rogers & Smith