CHICAGO (WLS) -- Opening statements began Thursday in the first trial from a lawsuit against Sterigenics.
The company sterilizes medical devices.
It is accused of illegally releasing ethylene oxide, a cancer-causing waste, into the air at its Willowbrook facility from when it opened in 1984 until the facility was permanently closed in 2019.
That allegedly led to a number of cancer cases in the southwest suburbs.
Thursday morning, a lawsuit filed by cancer patient Sue Kamuda became the first case against Sterigenics to go to trial. She is seeking $20 million in damages after developing breast cancer.
Kamuda lived about a third of a mile from the plant and her children attended school within a mile of the plant. Her son Brian was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2021 and his case is expected to go to trial at a later date.
There have been hundreds of lawsuits filed against Sterigenics.
The trial will resume Friday.