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Chemtool Class Action Lawsuit

The Collins Law Firm Has Filed a Class Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Rockton Area Residents Affected by the Chemtool Explosion

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:
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Shawn Collins is a very talented lawyer, as are all the attorneys on his team. I've known and worked with Shawn for more that 30 years. Not only is he a top notch technical litigator but his communication skills are second to none. If anyone I know is ever in need of an attorney, Shawn is my very first recommendation. He gives very solid advice that goes beyond the law. He is someone you can trust to tell you the truth so you are not lead astray in the complex legal world. You really can't find a better advocate. E.M.
We were incredibly satisfied with our experience with The Collins Law Firm. We worked closely with Ed Manzke and found that he had a personal touch and truly got to know us in addition to being knowledgeable and effective in his field. The caring and individual attitude helped us tremendously throughout the entire process and we always felt like our case was in safe hands. We would highly recommend The Collins Law Firm for both its stellar work and dedicated employees. M.A.
My father recommended The Collins Law Firm to me after watching Shawn Collins and Ed Manzke at trial representing Lisle residents against Lockformer. For years, he told us courtroom tales about Shawn and Ed, citing their incredible skill as trial lawyers and how they put the huge Lockformer legal team to shame. So when my son was the victim of a wrongful death, they were my first and only choice. I can't say enough to truly express how grateful I am to The Collin's Law Firm for all that they did for me and my family. This amazing team advocated for me in my darkest moments, surpassing my expectations in every way. I will be forever grateful to Shawn and Ed. K.D.
I have worked with Rob, Shawn and The Collins Law Firm team in connection with both complex business transactions and litigation over the past several years. Shawn is far and away the best business litigation attorney I have worked with. Rob has been our lead attorney on M&A and corporate restructures, and he has delivered each time, and on time. I would highly recommend Rob to get the deal done! W.D.
Rob has been our out-side General Counsel for ten years. As a business with a global presence, it is important that we have the very best legal representation. Rob and the team have guided us through litigation battles, negotiating and drafting our important business contracts, and advising us in our business strategies. He has a great team of lawyers working with him. M.F.