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Ohio Cancer Cluster Lawsuit Approved to Continue


A federal lawsuit in Toledo, Ohio, against the Whirlpool Corp. will continue to be litigated, a judge ruled. The personal injury lawsuit was filed by parents whose children were made ill in what is described as a northern Ohio cancer cluster. Dozens of people in the area became sick. The plaintiffs believe that it is all a result of a chemical compound allegedly emitted from the smokestacks at the company's plant in Clyde, Ohio. That plant manufactures washing machines. The compound was identified as benzaldehyde, which is sometimes used in porcelain coating and painting to act as a solvent.

Children in the area were diagnosed with cancer. The company denies that this is because of material emanating from their facility. The trial judge, responding to the company's attempts to get the lawsuit dismissed, ordered that both the wrongful death and personal injury claims continue, while rejecting less important claims concerning the alleged diminution of the value of real estate in proximity to the factory. Claims asserting fraud and reckless conduct were also rejected.

In all, almost 40 people in the immediate area contracted cancer from the mid-90's until today. The biggest number was nine children diagnosed with the disease in 2006. The area impacted is largely rural and lies squarely in between Cleveland and Toledo.

When manufacturing activity causes damage to the surrounding environment, including damage to soil, water or air, it can have an adverse impact on human health. It can often be difficult to prove just what that impact is. Personal injury attorneys are skilled in marshaling evidence and conducting discovery to attempt to do just that in order to obtain justice and compensation for victims and their families.

Source: The Associated Press, "Judge OKs Toledo child cancer suit against Whirlpool" John Seewer, Feb. 11, 2014