The Collins Law Firm, P.C. has filed a class action lawsuit against Chemtool Incorporated on behalf of residents affected by the explosion that occurred at their Rockton, Illinois plant on June 14, 2021. The explosion resulted in an enormous chemical fire that created a massive plume of toxic smoke, ash, and debris that could be seen from 100 miles away. Eighty-nine fire departments were dispatched to the site to aid in combating the fire, however, due to concern about the environmental impact to the nearby Rock River, they did not engage immediately in fire suppression activities.
As a result of the fire, the Winnebago County authorities issued an executive proclamation of disaster emergency and ordered a mandatory evacuation of residents living within a one-mile radius of the plant. The affected residents were directed not to return home even for medication, technology and communication devices, or other personal items.
Authorities also advised residents within three miles of the plant to wear masks for protection against the potentially toxic and harmful chemicals released by the fire, and to remain indoors without using their air conditioning. Residents were further warned not to touch any of the debris on their property but to have it removed by professionals with experience working with hazardous materials.
The lawsuit seeks damages for nuisance, trespass, and the loss of use and enjoyment of their homes. The plaintiffs allege that Chemtool was negligent and failed to exercise the reasonable care that would have prevented the explosion, fire, and smoke and dust plume that inundated the community.
“We look forward to representing the residents and business owners who have been severely impacted by the explosion at the Chemtool plant and hope to recover for them everything that they have lost as a result of this disaster.” said attorney Ed Manzke. The residents will be represented by Mr. Manzke and attorney Shawn Collins, partners at The Collins Law Firm.
If you have been affected by the Chemtool explosion and subsequent evacuation order, please call The Collins Law Firm at (630) 527-1595 or fill out this form for more information about the class action lawsuit and to inquire about your legal rights. The call is free and you will owe nothing unless we win your case.
The Collins Law Firm is an environmental firm that has been representing plaintiffs harmed by air and water pollution caused by toxic chemical releases for 20 years. We have recovered millions in damages for our environmental clients, and it has been an honor to fight for clean air and water for them.
See below for press coverage of our class action lawsuit: