Whirlpool Sued In Ohio's Child Cancer Cluster Case
CLYDE, Ohio (AP) -- Lawyers in Ohio filed a $750 million class action lawsuit Thursday against Whirlpool Corp. that's related to a child cancer cluster between Toledo and Cleveland.
The lawsuit attempts to link Whirlpool and others to the cancer cluster, though the families of the children who've been diagnosed with cancer aren't involved.
Three families filed the suit, including a man whose wife died at age 23 a year after she was diagnosed with cancer.
The U.S. EPA has said high levels of a chemical believed to increase the risk of certain cancers were found in soil samples from a former park Whirlpool once owned near the town of Clyde. Whirlpool has a washing machine factory in Clyde.
The findings, though, didn't link the contaminants with the cancer cluster that has been under investigation by state and federal agencies for more than six years. Nearly 40 young people have been diagnosed with cancer since the mid-1990s in the area.
Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool hasn't been directly connected to the chemical found in the tests. A statement from the company said that it's reviewing the lawsuit.
"As a member of the community for over 60 years, with more than 3,000 employees in the area, we are also very interested in figuring out the facts behind this ongoing issue," the statement said.
Families whose children have been among the dozens sickened in an Ohio cancer cluster have hired a private company to test several spots around the area in northern Ohio.
Still, the odds are against coming up with an answer because pinpointing the cause of a cancer cluster rarely happens.