Sterilization Companies Ethylene Oxide Emissions Illinois Class Action

Ethylene oxide (EtO) is a carcinogen, says the complaint for this class action. It brings suit against three manufacturing and sterilization facilities in Willowbrook, Illinois, alleging that they emitted EtO into the atmosphere, “in both controlled and uncontrolled releases” over several decades.

The defendants in this case are a number of sterilization and other companies: Sterigenics US, LLC, Sotera Health, LLC, Griffith Foods International, Inc., Griffith Foods, Inc., Griffith Foods Worldwide, Inc., Ion Beam Applications, Inc., Ion Beam Applications, LP, and Ion Beam Applications North America, Inc.

According to the complaint, these companies own and operate what the complaint refers to as the Willowbrook facilities, at 7774 Quincy Street, 830 Midway Drive, and 7827 Quincy Street, in Willowbrook, Illinois, which it alleges have been emitting EtO.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Toxicology Program, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classify EtO as a known human carcinogen. The complaint says, “There is no safe level of EtO.”

The complaint alleges that the “Willowbrook Facilities used large volumes of Ethylene Oxide gas to sterilize medical equipment and other products. This toxic gas was then emitted into the atmosphere…” The complaint claims that those living near the facilities “have been exposed to large amounts of toxic, cancer-causing EtO as a result of the releases from the Willowbrook Facilities.” The gas is odorless and colorless, so those in the area cannot see or smell it.

Because of this exposure to EtO, the complaint asserts, the “present rick of acquiring disease” to people living in this area “is among the highest in the United States. Indeed, the EPA estimates that [the members of the class for this action] are up to 8 times more likely to develop cancer than the average American.”

To make it worse, the complaint claims the “illnesses, diseases, and disease processes that exposure to EtO can cause [are] often latent, meaning not easily detected without diagnostic testing, particularly in their early stages.”The complaint alleges, “Medical monitoring is reasonably medically necessary for those exposed to ensure that latent disease processes can be immediately identified and aggressively treated.”

The counts in the complaint include ultrahazardous activity—strict liability, public and private nuisance, and willful and wanton negligence, among other things.

The class for this action is all natural persons who have lived within census tracts 17043845508,
17043845402, 17043845811, 17043845810, 17043845805, 17043845902, 17043845901, 17031820201, 17031820101, 17043845401, 17043845507, and 17043845502 for one year or more at any time between January 1, 1985 and February 15, 2019.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Environmental

Most Recent Case Event

Sterilization Companies Ethylene Oxide Emissions Illinois Complaint

September 4, 2020

Ethylene oxide (EtO) is a carcinogen, says the complaint for this class action. It brings suit against three manufacturing and sterilization facilities in Willowbrook, Illinois, alleging that they emitted EtO into the atmosphere, “in both controlled and uncontrolled releases” over several decades.

Sterilization Companies Ethylene Oxide Emissions Illinois Complaint

Case Event History

Sterilization Companies Ethylene Oxide Emissions Illinois Complaint

September 4, 2020

Ethylene oxide (EtO) is a carcinogen, says the complaint for this class action. It brings suit against three manufacturing and sterilization facilities in Willowbrook, Illinois, alleging that they emitted EtO into the atmosphere, “in both controlled and uncontrolled releases” over several decades.

Sterilization Companies Ethylene Oxide Emissions Illinois Complaint
Tags: Cancer Risk, Environmental, Environmental Pollution, Toxic Emissions