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Published: Tuesday, 5/14/2013

Cancer cluster victims file lawsuit against Whirlpool


Attorneys filed a federal class action lawsuit today against Whirlpool Corp. on behalf of victims of a cancer cluster near Clyde.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Western Division, names 27 plaintiffs, including lead plaintiff Warren Brown of Clyde, who lost his 11-year-old daughter Alexa Brown to cancer in 2009.

The suit links the area’s cancer cases to the presence of benzaldehyde, a compound found in dust samples collected in March from five Clyde homes, including the Brown residence.

Whirlpool uses the compound in the porcelain process of making its appliances at its Clyde plant, and it also can be burned off in other closely related chemicals, said Salt Lake City attorney Alan Mortensen, who represents the plaintiffs.

He said testing conducted on behalf of his clients showed benzaldehyde, which he said is a suspected carcinogen, was found in the homes in levels above the amount permissible under the United States Environmental Protection Agency standards.

A Whirlpool spokesman returned a reporter’s call, but the company has yet to comment on the suit.

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