Insights & Events

Extraordinarily Knowledgeable

Robert E. Johnston Speaks on Ethylene Oxide Litigation at DRI Toxic Torts & Environmental Law Seminar

event | March 22, 2024

At DRI’s recent Toxic Torts & Environmental Law Seminar, firm partner Robert Johnston spoke on a panel addressing litigation and compliance impacts of proposed ethylene oxide regulations based on flawed science. The panel discussed the misleading characterization of ethylene oxide as a carcinogen, EPA’s flawed 2016 IRIS Assessment, and the implications of recent EPA proposals, as well as the final ethylene oxide NESHAP for commercial sterilization facilities. Robert focused on overcoming challenges in ethylene oxide litigation from a trial perspective, including the need to dispute general causation, attack plaintiffs’ corporate conduct themes, and educate the jury about cancer and genotoxicity.

In the fall of 2022, Robert led the firm’s trial team that obtained the first defense verdict in a case alleging that exposure to ethylene oxide released from a commercial medical device sterilization facility caused cancer and fertility issues.