Family optimistic for answers

Federal judge leaves opening for lawsuit.
Tom Jackson
Feb 12, 2014
Warren Brown says he and his family are pleased a federal judge will allow the search for answers to continue in the Clyde-area cancer cluster case.

Brown and his wife, Wendy, are plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit brought last year by families affected by a spike in cancer cases among young people. On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge James Carr dismissed much of the lawsuit, but left intact key provisions contending Whirlpool polluted the air and soil and the pollution contributed to sickening children who developed cancer.

The Browns’ daughter, Alexa, 11, died of cancer in 2009. Brown is the Sandusky County administrator and has often served as a kind of informal spokesman for families caught up in the cancer cluster.

He said he’s pleased the ruling apparently clears the way for the lawsuit to proceed, allowing attorneys who represent the families to question Whirlpool officials and obtain Whirlpool documents.

“I have to say that with the caveat that this is a very small step in a very long and arduous journey,” Brown said.

Indeed, the court case is likely to take quite a long time to resolve, said Chuck Boyk, a Toledo attorney who is one of the attorneys representing Brown and other plaintiffs in the case.

Boyk said Tuesday that if the case proceeds along normal lines, Carr will schedule a pretrial conference soon and ask attorneys how they want to proceed.

It’s likely deadlines will be set for attorneys who brought the lawsuit to request documents and to schedule depositions, testimony under oath that would be taken from Whirlpool officials in lawyers’ offices or other locations.

“The families would like the opportunity to question the people with knowledge under oath and to review the documents” Boyk said.

It’s impossible to know what documents will become available, Boyk said.

“There could be hundreds of thousands of pages of documents we need to look at. Until we ask for it, we don’t know what they are going to produce. Are they going to have a warehouse full of documents, or are they going to tell us that nothing exists?” Boyk said.

Whirlpool’s spokesman, Kristine Vernier, did not respond to a request to make a Whirlpool official available for this story.

Monday night, however, Vernier issued a statement noting the judge dismissed most of the suit. She vowed the company would vigorously fight what remains.

Vernier said there’s no evidence linking Whirlpool’s Clyde operations with the local cancer cases.

“On behalf of our 3,000 employees in the Clyde area, Whirlpool will continue to vigorously defend against these baseless claims by the plaintiff attorneys” she said.

Comments

jacksonbrowne

Cancer causing pollutants are put in the air every day by multiple sources. I hope that these families are living in bubble house's that have ventilation systems to purify the air, water, etc as well as eating all organic foods.

Ned Mandingo

Has anyone ever questioned the fluoride they add to their water.

nosey rosey

Brown is the biggest hypocrit of the group. He has publicly stated that it's too late to find a cause yet he's the front runner in the lawsuit. Childhood cancer is increasing every day - maybe people should start looking at what is in our food chain.

starryeyes83

Maybe they should look at what they are smoking around their kids. Or how much perfumes and body sprays they use. Or what drugs they did in the past when they were younger. Etc., Etc.

myfairsher

the assumptions here are disheartening to me. god forbid any of you ever lose a child.

red white and blue

Ty^^^ myfairsher its sad how heartless some of these commenters have become

starryeyes83

Scientific facts.. look them up. It's all about lawsuit happy.

John Harville

The 37-page ruling denied request to make this a class action. Judge also denied Count 17 for punitive damages.
The 10 plaintiffs who had Property Damage claims saw their claims denied as well as pursuing a class action.
Key element in the ruling is the Plaintiffs are confined to proving airborne carcinogens from the Clyde plant and Whirlpool Park caused the specific cancers and other illnesses.
At footnote 11 the judge notes "Plaintiffs failure to allege when and how Whirlpool's concealment took place only exacerbates the problems with the complaint's already threadbare allegations."
The judge also noted the 14 dumpsites identified around the Eastern Sandusky County area - many of which not used by Whirlpool.
Brown is Chief Executive Officer of the County and last week announced his Primary candidacy to run for County Auditor.

John Harville

SR has the entire 37-page decision. Hopefully in weeks to come they will have an opportunity to delve more deeply.
Boyk told a News-Messenger reporter "this case will go on for several years".

Kmf1984

Its unfortunate that so many children have died but the world we live in today revolves around toxins. With all of the toxins entering our bodies every single day, how are they going to KNOW it came from Whirlpool. Also, if Whirlpool was following all guidelines on how they disposed of things, then can they be at fault?

Rosa

That injectable dump site in Vickery FKA as the OLD plant can make you sick just driving by. They must have really paid off the feds because you have to know they are majorally responsible for contaminating any ground water within an at least 5 mile radius. Ohio, unfortunately, has many dump sites for all other states toxins.....And that is a major contributing factor in cancer...All the fracking wastes and so on.. Besides all the impurities we can avoid, these are ones someone is getting rich by making innocents ill or even cause death..

Presto

People should move out of Clyde immediately. That's what this story's about isn't it? No one has commented on the people living in Clyde so I will. It's kinda like the people who refuse to leave the nuclear fallout zone in Japan (Fukushima).... Years ago no one knew what was going on in Clyde (and obviously now everyone's still lying) but ALL citizens NOW KNOW what's going on in Clyde...Why in hell are people still living there?? I am serious --WHY WHY WHY??? (for that matter..why are people living in Ohio when there are so many other gorgeous places to live on earth? lol) Well of course, people live in Ohio out of habit and cause of family (etc) but how can anyone live in a community that IS KILLING THEM and ALL THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS???? If the adults in Clyde choose to subject themselves to cancer causing agents on purpose well that's their priviledge but how does anyone justify forcing their kids to live there????