Jury awards Illinois woman $363M in suit over plant’s gas

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CHICAGO (AP) — A jury has awarded $363 million to a woman who alleged that a now-shuttered suburban Chicago plant that sterilized medical equipment exposed residents to a toxic industrial gas and gave her breast cancer. After a five-week trial, the Cook County jury on Monday awarded 70-year-old Sue Kamuda $38 million in compensatory damages and $325 million in punitive damages. Kamuda’s attorneys say she developed breast cancer in 2007 despite having no predisposition to it. She is the first of more than 700 people seeking damages from Oak Brook-based Sterigenics to go to trial over health claims over the plant’s releases of ethylene oxide gas. Lawyers for the companies argued that Kamuda’s attorneys offered no proof that her breast cancer was caused by exposure to ethylene oxide.