Sterigenics is a medical sterilization plant under fire for releasing airborne toxins that cause an elevated cancer risk to individuals living in surrounding areas. In a recent court hearing in Cobb County, a judge ruled that the hundreds of residents affected by the company’s negligence may sue the landlord, Prologis, for potential damages.
Prologis has been under scrutiny on multiple occasions for failing to maintain a livable facility as required by the leasing agreement. Over the years, many different physical features of the property have required repairs, from the roof to the facility walls. The failure to comply with those needs could have contributed to the exposure of hazardous gases to hundreds of families. The harmful gas seen at the facility is known as Eto (ethylene oxide) and has been identified as a cancer-causing agent.
Sterigenics was first questioned back in 2019 when an investigation by Georgia Health News and WebMD revealed that the Environmental Protection Agency had linked ethylene oxide emissions to higher risks of cancer.
Following the original revelation, over 300 residents and workers filed lawsuits against Sterigenics. Ever since the first filing, Sterigenics has attended numerous hearings and fought many legal battles with Cobb County. After the public involvement, the plant closed; however, it reopened in 2020 after the nationwide shortage of medical supplies at the beginning of the pandemic.
Attorneys representing Prologis have argued that the company was an absentee landlord who had no control over Sterigenics sterilization operations or negative repercussions. However, the plaintiffs pointed to numerous emails that showed Sterigenics consistently reporting leaks in the plant, which were never taken care of. The plaintiffs argued that Prologis knew about the structural issues that contributed to the leakage of toxic gas.
In an order, Judge Jane Manning wrote, “A reasonable inference could be drawn (that) if sunlight, water, and vermin could enter the facility, then, an odorless, colorless gas could escape from the facility.” In the case that the odorless gas did escape the facility, the landlord could be held liable for damages caused to individuals in the area.
Following the verdict, spokesperson for the defense Lydia Chan stated, “While we appreciate the court’s time and attention, we are disappointed with the ruling and plan to appeal.”
At Hammers Law Firm, we handle all types of cases involving personal injury and are here to advise you on the ongoing case against Prologis and Sterigenics. Our skilled attorneys are dedicated to defending and protecting injury victims. If you believe you or a loved one were exposed to harmful substances due to the Sterigenics leakage in Cobb County, reach out to our firm for a legal consultation.