San Diego–(business telegram,Class: Robbins LLP informs investors that a shareholder has filed a class action action on behalf of all investors who purchased or otherwise acquired common stock of Sotera Health Company (NASDAQ: SHC): (i) through the company’s initial public offering Offer (“IPO”) conducted pursuant to November 20, 2020; (ii) pursuant to the Company’s Secondary Public Offering (“SPO”) to be held on September 18, 2021; or (iii) between the 20th day of November, 2020 and the 19th day of September, 2022. Sotera provides sterilization and laboratory testing and advisory services to the medical device and pharmaceutical industries.
now what: Similarly-situated shareholders may be eligible to participate in the class action against Sotera. Shareholders who wish to act as lead plaintiffs for the class need to file their papers by March 27, 2023. A principal plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. You do not have to participate in the case to be eligible for recovery. Click here for more information.
All representation is on a contingency fee basis. Shareholders do not pay any fees or expenses.
What is this case: Sotera Health Company’s (SHC) ETO processing released massive amounts of toxins and caused cancer in people living in communities near its facilities
According to the complaint, the company’s sterilization services rely on three primary technologies, one of which is ethylene oxide (“EtO”) processing. ETO processing emits toxic fumes, which must be filtered before being released into the air. In December 2016, the EPA reclassified ETO as a chemical known to be carcinogenic to humans and raised the estimate of ETO’s carcinogenic potential to over thirty.
Sotera, through its Sterigenics business, operates or operates ETO processing at facilities located in Illinois, California, Georgia and New Mexico. In August 2018, the EPA reported that people living in communities near Stergenics’ facilities in Illinois, Georgia and New Mexico had the highest cancer rates in the nation. That same month, the US Department of Health and Human Services released a report documenting the public health effects of Sterigenics’ emissions in the area surrounding its Illinois facility and revealing staggering and disproportionate cancer risks in that area.
Beginning in September 2018, cancer-stricken plaintiffs filed lawsuits against Sotera in Illinois, alleging that ETO emissions from the company’s sterilization facility caused their cancer. On September 30, 2019, Sotera announced the closure of its Illinois facility. Beginning in August 2020, just months before the IPO, plaintiffs with cancer who lived near the Stergenics facility in Georgia filed lawsuits similar to those filed in Illinois.
Sotera conducted its IPO on November 20, 2020, selling 53.59 million shares of common stock at $23 per share for gross proceeds of over $1.2 million. The Company held its SPO on March 18, 2021, in which 25 million shares of Sotera’s common stock were sold at $27 per share for gross proceeds of $675 million. Offering materials issued in connection with the Offering and during the entire Class Period included materially false and misleading representations regarding its emissions control systems and the Company’s risk of liability from lawsuits for its failure to limit harmful ETO emissions . the company represented that it had “an active [environmental, health and safety] program and culture of safety and quality. In addition, Sotera stated that it used adequate and effective safeguards to control ETO emissions. In addition, Sotera and its executives strongly denied allegations that ETO emissions from the company’s sterilization facilities caused cancer and other serious health problems in people living in communities near those facilities.
On September 19, 2022, an Illinois state court jury in the first trial arising out of Sotera’s ETO emissions found Sotera liable for the plaintiff’s cancer. Specifically, the jury awarded the plaintiffs $363 million in damages, including $38 million in compensatory damages and $325 million in punitive damages. The jury cited Sotera and Sterigenics’ “deliberate and wanton” misconduct in preventing toxic ETO emissions, and its failure to warn about the serious health hazard posed by the company’s Illinois facility. As a result of these disclosures, Sotera’s share price fell from $14.73 per share on September 16, 2022 to $4.90 per share, or 33.3%, to $9.83 per share on September 19, 2022. In turn, analysts downgraded Sotera stock, which led to a further decline in the share price. As of September 21, 2022, Sotera’s stock was trading at $7.32 per share, or more than 68% below the IPO price and nearly 73% below the SPO price.
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