On September 30, 2019, Sterigenics abruptly announced that they were abandoning their attempt to reopen the Willowbrook facility that was shut down after state officials found elevated levels of toxic ethylene oxide being released into residential neighborhoods. The shutdown of the Willowbrook Sterigenics facility came after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cited the elevated cancer risks from the toxic emissions for local residents, a practice that had gone on for decades.
On Monday, Sterigenics claimed it was closing the facility, in part, because Illinois presented an “unstable legislative and regulatory landscape” that “created an environment in which it is not prudent to maintain these critical sterilization operations in Willowbrook.”
As one of the leading firms representing victims whose lives have been ripped apart by the ravages of cancer linked to the emission of ethylene oxide in the Willowbrook community, the closure of Sterigenics Willowbrook is only the first step in achieving the full measure of justice these families deserve. For many, news of this closure will do nothing to undo the devastation that countless local residents have experienced after learning that they or a loved one has developed cancer after being exposed to this known carcinogen.
Louis C. Cairo, Owner and Managing Partner of GWC Injury Lawyers, noted the audacity of Sterigenics in claiming to be the victim of regulatory instability at a time when thousands of local families are themselves grappling with an uncertain future as the full scope of Sterigenics’ toxic emissions and its link to cancer becomes known:
“The retreat of Sterigenics is long overdue. They leave this state at a time when their denials of responsibility for the harm they have caused is believed by no one who has looked at the clear link between ethylene oxide and cancer. Our fight remains what it has always been: holding Sterigenics to account in a court of law.”
For more information on GWC’s litigation against Sterigenics, please contact attorneys Lance Northcutt at 312-245-2115, or Timothy Keiser at 312-245-2182.