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joliet personal injury lawyerIn 2018, the news broke that a company in the Chicago suburbs had been releasing ethylene oxide, a toxic gas, into the community, potentially putting residents at risk. Sterigenics, which operated a medical device sterilization facility located in Willowbrook, was accused of failing to take the proper measures to protect public safety, and it has faced a large number of personal injury lawsuits by people who claimed that they contracted cancer or other conditions after living or working near the facility. Recently, Sotera Health, the parent company of Sterigenics, reached a settlement agreement that would allow it to resolve nearly all of these lawsuits.

What Is Ethylene Oxide?

Ethylene oxide is a colorless gas that has been used for decades as a sterilizing and fumigation agent in a variety of industries. It is used in the medical device industry to sterilize single-use instruments, surgical gowns and drapes, endoscopes, and other medical items. While ethylene oxide can be an effective sterilization agent, it is also highly toxic. Some studies have found that ethylene oxide can cause cancer and other serious health conditions if people are exposed to it over long periods of time. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared that ethylene oxide is a hazardous air pollutant.

$408 Million Settlement Following $363 Million Verdict

Since 2018, over 800 lawsuits have been filed against Sterigenics and Sotera Health. In September of 2022, a verdict was reached in the first lawsuit, and a jury ruled in favor of a woman who had contracted breast cancer after living near the Willowbrook facility. She was awarded $363 million. However, in the second lawsuit, a jury found in favor of Sterigenics and did not award any compensation to the plaintiff.

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elmhurst distracted driver accident injury lawyerIn the 1980s and 90s, the primary safety messages for drivers were aimed at lowering the number of people killed by drunk drivers. In today’s world, drinking and driving is still something we educate drivers about, but another danger that may not be as obvious lurks in the shadows: distracted driving. According to federal estimates, more than 3,000 motorists and passengers are killed in distracted driving accidents in average year in the United States. If you have been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, understanding what caused the accident may help you obtain compensation.

Common Types of Driving Distractions

When you think of a driving distraction, your mind likely jumps to a cell phone or other electronic device. While these are some of the most common distractions for drivers, there are many different types of distractions that a variety of things can cause. For example, things both inside and outside of the vehicle can pose as distractions.

There are three main types of distractions that a driver can face:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_284767511-min.jpgConstruction workers have incredibly important and incredibly dangerous jobs. Building and repairing structures and roads often requires workers to use dangerous equipment, climb to great heights, or work in deep trenches. Safety precautions can prevent most accidents, but construction site injuries and deaths can still occur. In fact, about 20 percent of worker fatalities in the United States occur in the construction industry.  

If you were injured while working in construction, it is important to understand your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your lost income and medical bills. Depending on the circumstances of the injury, you may also be able to pursue a third-party claim and seek further damages.

Injuries From Construction Accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established strict safety regulations for the construction industry. Unfortunately, these standards are not always followed. Mistakes and carelessness can lead to preventable accidents in which workers and bystanders are severely injured.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1362532229-min.jpgMore than five million people in the United States have some form of paralysis. People’s lives are forever changed when they lose the ability to move part or all of their body. A car crash is one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis which can be physically difficult. Adapting to your new way of life can also be challenging psychologically. If you or a loved one was paralyzed due to a car crash, and the injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the responsible driver.

Recognizing Paralysis

Paralysis occurs when someone is unable to make voluntary muscle movements. The ability to control your body after a spinal cord injury hinges on the severity of the injury and what part of the spinal cord sustains the injury. The impact of a car crash often injures the spinal cord and although you may not feel the pain right away you should see a doctor right away. These are some signs and symptoms that something is not right:

  • Loss of movement

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elmhurst pacemaker injury lawyerIf you have an abnormal heart rhythm you may need a pacemaker to maintain a consistent heart rate. You trust that the device implanted into your body is safe and efficient. However, if a pacemaker is not properly manufactured or tested, it can cause serious injuries or even death. At Schwartz Injury Law we represent the interests of our clients who have suffered injuries due to a defective medical device.

Defective Medical Products Can Cause Irreparable Damage

Doctors will implant pacemakers near the heart so that they deliver electrical shocks and impulses. This is designed to maintain a normal heart rate. Despite strict regulations by the Food and Drug Administration, time pressures and tight budgets can force a manufacturer to rush a device to market before it is thoroughly tested.

Unfortunately, it usually takes several reports of injuries or harmful effects before a recall is issued. That can lead a defective medical product to injure hundreds or thousands of people before something is done to address the problem.

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