HANOVER TWP., Pa. - A new lawsuit alleges B. Braun's emissions of a known carcinogen has caused cancer and death.
Data from the EPA raised concerns from residents back in 2019 after it showed the B. Braun facility in Hanover Township is emitting ethylene oxide, a colorless, odorless gas used to sterilize medical equipment.
"It's a terrible hazard to the Allentown community. We have, regrettably, 16 clients,” said Shanin Specter, a founding partner of Kline and Specter in Philadelphia, which is representing the plaintiffs along with colleagues Tom Bosworth and Aaron Dunbar.
Of the 16, seven have breast cancer, two brain cancer, two blood cancer and one with a form of pelvic cancer. Three have already died. Some are former employees.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Philadelphia County.
"The cancers that are developed are several in nature and there is strong epidemiologic and toxicologic support for the causation between EtO emissions and the B Braun facility in Allentown and the development of these particular cancers," Specter said.
Specter also filed a complaint with the EPA and asked the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to investigate the emissions and order remediation.
B. Braun responded to WFMZ's request for comment late Wednesday afternoon, saying, in part, the claims are without merit and the company intends to fight them vigorously.
The company has not broken any laws.
It's unclear whether the company has stopped emitting ethylene oxide all together.
"We're going to see as part of the discovery process in the civil litigation what they have to say about the current conditions,” Specter said. "The folks in the Allentown community need to have an advocate. It's a danger to the community and we need to clean it up."
Due to Pennsylvania law, the plaintiffs have not sought a specific amount of damages. Mr. Specter said the discovery process could potentially go on for a couple years before the case goes to trial.