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Acreage cancer cluster trial underway in West Palm Beach years after residents reported brain, head tumors

Pratt & Whitney sued in federal court
Posted at 5:57 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 19:55:35-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County families are finally getting their time in court after years of concerns over a spike in cancer cases in and around The Acreage.

A judge heard testimony Friday about a forensic investigation that's shedding light on radioactive materials found on the campus of Pratt & Whitney and The Acreage community.

A lawsuit filed in 2016 is finally being heard in federal court, but the issue started well before 2009 when several residents in The Acreage reported brain and head tumors that were increasingly above expected rates.

Brain tumor cases in The Acreage
Multiple brain tumor cases have been documented in The Acreage in previous years, leading to multiple lawsuits.

The plaintiffs are parents and families from The Acreage who believe the aerospace giant is to blame for the cancer cluster that was reported more than a dozen years ago.

Attorneys have claimed that the state failed to properly test for specific radioactive contamination, ignored concerns voiced by its own people and neglected to hold Pratt & Whitney accountable for not cleaning up years' worth of toxic contamination in the area.

Read the lawsuit below:

While the Florida Health Department declared a pediatric cancer cluster in The Acreage, it never found what caused the high rate of childhood cancers.

A civil engineer testified about his independent forensic investigation, which determined that the radioactive materials on Pratt & Whitney's campus matched the same materials found in The Acreage.

A judge on Friday heard from a Pratt & Whitney spokesperson who admitted that some of the radioactive material was disposed of in a nearby landfill but said it was inside a steel drum.