SAUGET, Ill. - Thousands of people claim a Metro East company caused their cancer by releasing toxins into the air and water. They are suing the Sauget, Illinois company, Cerro Flow which makes copper tubing.
One of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs says several areas are contaminated, including parts of East. St. Louis, Cahokia, Centreville, downtown St. Louis and south city.
"People are continuing to die, maybe not every day but on a routine, re-occurring basis," said Paul Schoen an attorney with Schoen, Walton, Telken and Foster, LLC, one of the law firms representing the 10,600 plaintiffs.
The lawsuit represents thousands of living residents and also 195 people that have died. Schoen say the deaths were due to the contamination from the Cerro Flow company and part of the process of copper smelting.
"That creates dioxins and furans, that are emitted into the air, dioxins are one of the most deadly known substances on the planet," he said.
Schoen says those dioxins are carcinogens causing cancer of the liver, stomach and brain, just to name a few.
The plaintiffs are suing Cerro for personal injury and property damage including negligence, nuisance and battery.
"They didn't tell the people what they were doing, and the people were living there without knowing what they were doing that the air they were breathing, the fish they were eating the vegetables they were eating the water they were drinking was contaminated with this poison," said Schoen.
Each plaintiff is seeking money, some for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
NewsChannel 5 reached out to Cerro, but never heard back. We did get a response from The Marmon Group, a management company for Cerro who says they "Typically do not comment about court matters."