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Cook County toxic chemical exposure injury attorneyIn 2018, residents of the Chicago area were shocked to learn that a company had been releasing toxic chemicals into the community for decades, endangering the health of those who live and work in Willowbrook, Burr Ridge, and other nearby cities. Sterigenics International operates a facility in Willowbrook that uses ethylene oxide to sterilize medical equipment and other materials, and this facility was found to be emitting dangerous levels of this toxic chemical. Recently, some more information came to light that demonstrated the extent of Sterigenics’ negligence, and those who have been harmed by toxic chemical emissions should be sure to contact a personal injury lawyer to learn about their legal options.

Cover-Up of Toxic Chemical Emissions

Since the release of a report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in August 2018 detailing the risks of ethylene oxide emissions in the Willowbrook area, Sterigenics has claimed that it had been following EPA regulations ever since its plant was opened in 1984. However, a recent report by CBS News contained some shocking revelations by former Sterigenics employees about the company’s practices.

According to the workers, Sterigenics committed a wide variety of violations when working with toxic chemicals. Rather than properly disposing of ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol, these chemicals would often be dumped directly into local sewer systems. In addition, toxic fumes were often not properly sent through chemical scrubbers, and doors were left open, allowing gases to vent outside. To make matters worse, alarm systems were manipulated to avoid work stoppage, or alarms were ignored altogether.

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Lake County personal injury attorney medical marijuanaA personal injury can have a wide variety of long-term effects on a person’s health and well-being, and one of the most serious issues victims may experience is chronic pain. Severe injuries involving brain trauma, damage to the spine, nerve damage, amputation, or other debilitating conditions can lead to long-lasting problems as victims struggle to deal with a high level of pain that greatly affects their lives, their comfort, and their ability to work and earn an income. However, many have found that medical marijuana provides a solution that allows them to manage this pain as they work to return to normalcy.

Benefits of Using Medicinal Marijuana

Many people are hesitant to consider marijuana as a medical solution because of its perception as a recreational drug. The federal government in the United States classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which signifies that it has a high potential for abuse and little medical value. However, research in recent years has found that marijuana has a wide variety of medical benefits, and this has led to it being legalized for medicinal use in more than half of the states in the U.S., including Illinois. An increasing number of states have legalized marijuana for recreational use as well.

There are a large number of active chemical components in marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which provides the “high” that people seek when using marijuana recreationally, and cannabidiol (CBD), which provides medical benefits, including relieving pain and serving as a muscle relaxant. Many strains of medical marijuana provide CBD while containing little or no THC, allowing patients to treat their conditions without experiencing mind-altering effects.

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Lake County bike accident injury lawyerBicycles provide a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors while traveling from place to place, and they can help you save money on energy and transportation costs. However, these benefits also come with some serious risks, especially in cities such as Chicago, where large amounts of traffic and narrow streets can put bicyclists in danger of being injured in a collision. When riding, you should be aware of the potential injuries that can occur in a bicycle accident and the steps to take if you are injured. It is important to contact an attorney after an injury to determine your options for pursuing compensation from the negligent parties.

Common Bike Accident Injuries

  • Head injuries - A helmet can provide essential protection in the case of a crash, but even when wearing a helmet, you may experience a concussion or traumatic brain injury. If you lose consciousness, experience severe headaches or confusion, or have vision problems, you should seek immediate medical attention.
  • Neck and spine injuries - A collision can result in whiplash or back injuries, and more serious spine damage can cause long-lasting harm. If you experience numbness or tingling in your fingers or toes, you should go to the emergency room for treatment.
  • Broken bones - Fractures can occur in an impact with a car or other vehicle, or when striking the ground after being knocked off your bike in a dooring accident. Common bones broken in bike accidents include the collarbones, facial bones, and bones in the legs, arms, and wrists.
  • Rib injuries - Broken ribs are another common fracture that can occur in a collision, and it is important to receive treatment to ensure that these injuries do not result in a punctured lung. If you experience any difficulty breathing following an accident, you should receive medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Internal injuries - Internal organs can be damaged in the impact with a bicycle’s handlebars or with other vehicles. Tenderness in the abdominal area or a firm or distended abdomen is a sign of that you could have internal bleeding.
  • Lacerations and road rash - An impact with the road can cause serious cuts, bruises, and abrasions. Be sure to properly treat these wounds to ensure that they do not become infected.

Contact Our Chicago Bicycle Injury Attorneys

At Winters Salzetta O'Brien & Richardson, LLC, we are experienced in helping bicyclists recover compensation for the injuries they have suffered. In one notable case, we obtained a $1 million settlement for a man who was injured when his bicycle seat broke, exposing a sharp edge that cut into his groin and caused internal injuries that required two surgeries.

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, our Cook County personal injury lawyers can help determine your options for pursuing compensation from the party or parties who were responsible for your damages. Contact us today at 312-236-6324 to arrange a free consultation.

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Chicago sex abuse lawyer Catholic churchThere have been few news stories in recent decades that have been as shocking and troubling as the revelation that people across the United States have been the victims of sexual abuse by priests and clergy in the Catholic church. While any instance of abuse by someone who was in a position of trust is horrifying, these cases have been especially sickening due to the efforts of the Catholic church to cover up the crimes and protect the abusers rather than the victims. Those who have been harmed by this type of abuse and the negligent actions of the church should take steps to determine their options for pursuing compensation from those who were responsible.

New Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse from Illinois Attorney General

In December 2018, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released a report detailing the preliminary findings of an investigation into sex abuse by Catholic priests in the state. While church officials from the Archdiocese of Chicago and the other five dioceses in Illinois have stated that they have put measures in place to address the issue, the report makes it clear that instances of abuse have been widely underreported.

The report notes that while the church has identified 185 members of the clergy who have received credible allegations of child sex abuse in Illinois, there are an additional 500 clergy members who have been accused of sexual misconduct over multiple decades. While not all of these allegations have been found to be credible, Madigan stated that the church often failed to take steps to investigate accusations and determine whether they were valid.

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Willowbrook ethylene oxide injury attorneyIn recent months, residents of the Chicago suburbs have learned of a serious risk to the health of those who live and work in Willowbrook, Burr Ridge, and surrounding communities. A plant operated by Sterigenics International was found to be releasing dangerous amounts of ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic chemical, into the air, putting those who live and work in the area at risk of harm. Those who have been exposed to toxic substances should contact a personal injury attorney to determine their options for pursuing compensation for their injuries.

Testing Shows Continued Risk of Toxic Chemical Exposure

After the original report which raised the alarm of ethylene oxide exposure was released in August 2018, Sterigenics stated that in July 2018, they had put new measures in place in their plant to reduce ethylene oxide emissions. While this did not address the harm caused to people in the community during the decades the facility has been in operation, it was meant to ensure that the plant would not present a public safety risk going forward. However, recent tests have indicated that risks of toxic chemical exposure continue to exist near the facility.

In November 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted testing of the air near the Sterigenics plant, and these tests found that in certain locations, levels of ethylene oxide continue to exist in the atmosphere. Alarmingly, one test found that an average level of ethylene oxide detected during a 24-hour period was more than three times higher than the amount of the chemical which the original report stated was a cancer risk.

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