New Lawsuits Filed in Cook County, Illinois against Sterigenics for Toxic Ethylene Oxide Exposure

Dunn Harrington and Passen & Powell File 6 New Lawsuits against Sterigenics for EtO Exposure Injuries, Bringing Their Total to 14 Lawsuits

CHICAGO, IL, UNITED STATES, November 14, 2023 / — This last week, the law firms of Dunn Harrington, LLC and Passen & Powell filed several new lawsuits against Sterigenics U.S., LLC and others on behalf of individuals who recently developed cancer and other serious illnesses caused by the company’s negligent emission of ethylene oxide (“EtO”) into the air at its EtO sterilization facilities located in Willowbrook, Illinois. [Case Nos. 23 L 11218, 23 L 11216, 23 L 11210]

These new lawsuits add to the firms’ eight pending lawsuits against Sterigenics filed since June of this year, bringing the total to 14 pending cases.

The complaints allege that for decades, Sterigenics operated two EtO sterilization facilities in the densely populated suburb of Willowbrook, which were emitting massive and unnecessary amounts of EtO – an invisible, odorless carcinogen – into the air. As a result, residents of Willowbrook and surrounding communities were unknowingly exposed to EtO for years, rendering the surrounding area one of the most toxic in the United States.

In August 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a report documenting the public health impacts of Sterigenics’ EtO emissions on the Wilowbrook area and revealed the community members’ staggering and disproportionate risks of cancer. Following release of the report, Sterigenics initially announced a plan to drastically reduce its annual emissions of EtO before ultimately announcing the permanent closure of its Willowbrook facilities effective September 30, 2019. In the ensuing years, hundreds of lawsuits were filed by those who developed cancer and other serious illnesses allegedly caused by emission of EtO at the Willowbrook facilities.

On January 9, 2023, Sotera Health (parent company of Sterigenics) announced a $408 million settlement of more than 870 EtO cases pending against Sterigenics in Illinois. More recently, on October 18, 2023, Sotera Health announced an agreement to pay $35 million to 79 individuals impacted by EtO exposure from its Sterigenics facility in Georgia. These settlements do not preclude others from filing lawsuits against Sterigenics for the harmful and lethal effects of EtO emissions. Dunn Harrington, LLC and Passen & Powell lead the charge against Sterigenics, with multiple pending lawsuits in Cook County, Illinois.

According to Colin Dunn, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs:

While the Willowbrook location was closed in 2019, the mutagenic, genotoxic and DNA-altering effects of EtO exposure continue to devastate the lives of residents of Willowbrook and its surrounding communities. Such harm will continue for years to come and may impact children in the area. Our firms will continue to fight fervently for the victims impacted and hold the Defendants accountable for their negligence.

Please direct your inquiries to the law firms of Dunn Harrington, LLC (872) 201-3125 and Passen & Powell (312) 527-4500.

Matthew Passen
Passen & Powell
+1 312-527-4500
email us here

Originally published at

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