Chemtool Class Action Lawsuit
The Collins Law Firm has filed a Class Action lawsuit against Chemtool Incorporated for the explosion that occurred at its 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.
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.
To read the lawsuit, click here.The Collins Law Firm Files Motion for Expedited Discovery
The Collins Law Firm has filed a motion for expedited discovery in the Chemtool case on behalf of those affected by the explosion. This is why we filed the motion:
A basic question critical to residents’ use and enjoyment of their properties remains unanswered: what chemicals and toxic substances were stored in Chemtool’s facility and are therefore likely to have been deposited on residents’ properties and inside their homes? Although nearly four weeks have passed since the fire began, Chemtool still has not publicly answered this question. Nor has any testing been conducted inside residents’ homes. This state of uncertainty – and the urgent need for answers so that residents can be informed and take necessary steps to protect themselves – compels Plaintiffs to file the motion for expedited discovery.
In consultation with their environmental pollution expert, Dr. Ranajit (Ron) Sahu, Plaintiffs have crafted targeted written discovery requests designed to obtain information about the chemicals and other toxic materials that were emitted during the explosions, fire, and resulting toxic smoke and dust plume. Specifically, Plaintiffs seek—on an expedited basis-- an inventory of the combustible and toxic materials that were stored in the facility at the time of the explosions and fire, including chemicals in storage tanks, raw materials, and intermediate and finished products.
Once Plaintiffs have this information, and if the Judge allows, Plaintiffs will make it public, and also use it to determine, in consultation with Dr. Sahu, whether and where homes should be tested to see if they are contaminated with Chemtool’s chemicals.
To read the motion, click here.Other Court Filings in the Chemtool Case: