A long-anticipated civil trial got started this week in Philadelphia. The plaintiffs in the case allege that a chemical plant in Ringwood, Ill., dumped vinylidene chloride at the site, which caused about 30 residents to develop brain cancer. The suit, which is actually the first of 31 related cases, is Joanne Branham v. Rohm & Haas Co. The trial is being held in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. The defendants are Rohm and Haas, Dow Chemical Co. and Morton International. Morton was the original operator of the Ringwood plant,which Rohm and Haas acquired when it bought Morton in 1999. Dow bought Rohm and Haas in 2008. The plaintiffs allege that vinylidene chloride dumped at the site broke down into vinyl chloride mononer, and caused residents in the area to have higher-than-expected rates of brain cancer. Lawyers for Rohm and Haas will argue that contamination from the plant could not have reached levels in the water or air to cause cancer, and that studies do not link VCM exposure to brain cancer.
Brain cancer trial underway
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