Attorneys in the Clyde Cancer Cluster case recently filed a second amended lawsuit against the Whirlpool Corporation.
"Their response from Whirlpool was to file something called a motion to dismiss," says Charles Boyk, one of the attorneys representing the families in the case.
The motion by Whirlpool requests that the lawsuit filed against them be thrown out, but Boyk says this is standard practice in a case like this.
"Their goal is basically to prevent us from pursuing the claim, and prevent us from doing discovery in the case," says Boyk.
Discovery is the process where the defendant, in this case, Whirlpool, would be forced to hand over all documents that could be related to the case, as well as give sworn statements from anyone with possible knowledge of the allegations named in the lawsuit.
Boyk says, "This is a tactical development in the case that was fully expected."
Whirlpool claims that the lawsuit is unjustified and irresponsible. They claim that it was filed against them simply because they are the largest company in the area.
Whirlpool has denied any knowledge of dumping toxic material in the area, however, according to Boyk, Environmental Protection Agency testing has proven that to be false.
"Whirlpool has dumped sludge on 14 different confirmed dump sites in Sandusky County," claims Boyk.
He says if Whirlpool is not responsible for any wrong-doing, they should have nothing to fear.
"If whirlpool has nothing to hide, they should be happy to open up the books and give the people of Sandusky County the proof of their innocence," Boyk says.
Boyk thinks that matter should be decided within six months, and if the plaintiffs win, they will start discovery. If they do not, they will be forced to file an appeal, or possibly re-evaluate the lawsuit altogether.
FULL STATEMENT FROM WHIRLPOOL:
"On August 26, Whirlpool filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The complaint improperly attempts to connect a wide variety of health claims to Whirlpool's manufacturing operations and a former Whirlpool park. Plaintiffs have not offered any scientific or medical studies supporting their claims which include a wide range of illnesses such as diabetes, diverticulitis and learning disorders.
We empathize with community members who have suffered illnesses or deaths of their loved ones. It is important that the people in this community understand that multiple federal, state, and local environmental and health agency studies have found no known environmental cause â?? much less a common source of exposure to any carcinogen â?? of the reported childhood cancer incidents in Sandusky County.
We will vigorously defend ourselves against these unfounded and irresponsible allegations. We have been part of the fabric of the Clyde community for more than 60 years, and we remain committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and to standing up for the 3,000 Whirlpool employees in the area. Our filing, along with a short summary, is available at WhirlpoolForClyde.com." -- Kristine Vernier, spokesperson for Whirlpool Corporation