Ex-Willowbrook residents allege emissions from Sterigenics facility caused health problems

By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Sep 26, 2018

CHICAGO – Two former Willowbrook residents allege they and others have suffered permanent health problems as a result of emissions from an industrial plant in which medical devices and other items are sterilized.

On Sept. 20, Julie Cannell and Pamela McGonigal filed a complaint on behalf of themselves and of all those similarly situated in Cook County Circuit Court against Sterigenics International LLC and GTCR LLC, alleging nuisance and trespass.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that they and others in their community near the Sterigenics facility in Willowbrook have suffered from increased risks to their health, including neurological effects, respiratory irritation, excessive thirst and dry mouth, gastrointestinal effects, and cancer risks, as a result of exposure to elevated ethylene oxide emissions from the defendants' facility. The suit states ethylene oxide is used to sterilize medical devices, pharmaceuticals and food products.

The plaintiffs allege they have suffered severe and permanent health problems because of the emission of the gas.

The plaintiffs hold Sterigenics International LLC and GTCR LLC responsible because the defendants allegedly failed to notify residents of the carcinogenetic nature of ethylene oxide and failed to adopt or construct modern technology to aid in the prevention of ethylene oxide emissions into the surrounding area.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment against defendants in an amount of more than $50,000. They are represented by attorneys Todd A. Smith and Brian LaCien of Power, Rogers & Smith LLP in Chicago, and John Libra of Korein Tillery LLC in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number 18-L-10183

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Organizations in this Story

Circuit Court of Cook County Korein & Tillery Power, Rogers and Smith, PC. Sterigenics International

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