Ethylene Oxide/Sterigenics Updates

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Chemtool for Explosion


The Collins Law Firm, P.C. has initiated a Class Action lawsuit against Chemtool Incorporated, seeking damages for the devastating explosion that took place at their Rockton, Illinois plant on June 14, 2021.

The explosion caused a massive chemical fire that produced a gigantic cloud of harmful smoke, ash, and debris, visible from a distance of 100 miles. Eighty-nine firefighting departments were deployed to assist in battling the inferno.

Following the fire, Winnebago County officials declared a state of emergency and imposed a mandatory evacuation order for all residents residing within a one-mile radius of the plant. The affected individuals were instructed not to return to their homes, even to retrieve essential items such as medication, communication devices, or personal belongings.

The authorities additionally recommended that inhabitants residing within a three-mile radius of the facility wear masks to safeguard themselves from the dangerous and possibly poisonous chemicals discharged by the fire. They were also advised to stay indoors, avoiding the use of air conditioning. The residents were further cautioned against handling any debris found on their property and instead advised to seek the assistance of professionals skilled in handling hazardous materials for its removal.

The legal action aims to recover damages for property nuisance, trespass, and deprivation of the affected residents’ right to use and enjoy their homes. The plaintiffs contend that Chemtool was reckless and did not take appropriate precautions that could have averted the explosion, fire, smoke, and dust cloud that adversely affected 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. To learn more about The Collins Law Firm, please visit our website at

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. 

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