Three groups of Illinois residents have filed separate lawsuits over the release of various hazardous substances they claim have created a severe health risk, including cancer, and have contaminated their properties.
The plaintiffs argue that three release sites – a 90-acre landfill operated by Sauget and Co., a 314-acre W.G. Krummrich Plant and property owned by Cerro Flow Products – have released PCBs, dioxins and furans, into the atmosphere for more than 70 years.
The four plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed late April, the four plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Jan. 8 and the four plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Feb. 18 against Cerro Flow Products, Inc., Pharmacia Corporation, Solutia, Inc., Pfizer and Monsanto AG Products are the first three groups of residents to file complaints against the companies this year.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuits say they or their deceased relatives developed cancer and other life-threatening diseases as a result of their exposure to the PCBs, which have already been shown to result in toxic effects in the brain and nervous system and in low birth rates and birth defects
The combined activities of the three companies released the deadly substances into the environment through smokestack emissions, wind erosion, smoke from fires in waste piles and airborne releases, according to the complaints.
Plaintiffs say the defendants knew about the potential consequences of the chemicals’ releases, but attempted to conceal health risks and property contamination from the public. Each of the seven-count suits seeks a judgment in excess of $300,000.