When You Need a Lawyer who Will Fight for You

Environmental Law Attorneys

Too many people throughout the United States are needlessly being exposed to toxic chemicals like TCE, PCE, PFAS, PCB, vinyl chloride, lead, glyphosate, and ethylene oxide because corporations behave recklessly, dumping toxins into our soil and water, emitting them into our air, or contaminating products with them. Exposure to toxic contamination can lead to cancers, birth defects, respiratory ailments, weakened immune systems, and other serious illnesses. In addition to personal injuries, environmental contamination in soil, groundwater, and air can destroy the property values of people's homes.

We Have a National Reputation as Top Environmental Lawyers

At The Collins Law Firm, our environmental lawyers have built a nationwide reputation for helping the victims of environmental contamination. As a result of our environmental work:

  • Senior Partner Shawn Collins was selected as a Law 360 Environmental Law MVP, an honor only given to 5 attorneys from around the country.
  • Collins Law attorneys Shawn Collins and Margaret (Maggie) Galka received the 2023 Trial Lawyer Excellence Award from the Jury Verdict Reporter for obtaining the “Highest Reported Illinois Verdict or Settlement for an Individual Plaintiff.”
  • The firm was a 2023 national finalist at the National Law Journal and ALM’s Elite Trial Lawyer Awards in the mass torts category.

Based in Naperville, Illinois, our team of experienced trial lawyers takes the fight to corporations and works to help families by making their neighborhoods safe to live in again and getting them the compensation they deserve. If you have been harmed by toxic contamination, contact us for the legal support and assertive advocacy you need. Your consultation is free, and you will owe us nothing unless we settle your case or prevail in court. Environmental contamination is a serious problem; call us at (630) 527-1595 to start finding solutions.

We Have Secured Record-Setting Verdicts and Settlements in Environmental Cases

We are nationwide leaders when it comes to ethylene oxide exposure cancer claims. Most recently we were part of the trial team in Kamuda v. Sterigenics U.S. LLC, et al. that won a $363 million dollar verdict in Cook County for a client whose breast cancer was caused by years of ethylene oxide emissions from a nearby sterilization plant. In addition to being the largest single plaintiff verdict ever in the state of Illinois, this verdict was named the second highest personal injury verdict in the United States in 2022 and the tenth highest jury verdict in all practice areas in the U.S. in 2022 by Top Verdict

We followed that up by negotiating a $408 million dollar settlement in 2023 for over 800 cancer victims who were exposed to ethylene oxide in Willowbrook, Illinois. Partner Shawn Collins--as co-lead of the plaintiffs' executive committee-- played a lead role in trial preparation and in negotiating the settlement. 

We have secured $34.5 million in compensation for clients whose homes were devalued by vinyl chloride vapor intrusion. We have also recovered over $34 million in groundwater contamination cases, $17.5 million in toxic contamination class actions, and over $11 million in toxic tort personal injury claims. Our results speak for themselves: we know what we are doing, and you can trust us to handle your environmental toxic tort case.

We Understand the Science Involved in Environmental Contamination

One of the reasons why our attorneys have recovered millions in settlements and judgments is because of our deep understanding of the scientific issues at play when it comes to:

  • Vapor intrusion Vapor intrusion happens when volatile chemicals (VOCs) migrate from contaminated groundwater or soil into indoor air through cracks or gaps in a home or office building’s foundations. Exposure to these chemicals—like benzene, vinyl chloride, perchloroethylene (PCE)or trichloroethylene (TCE)-- through inhalation can lead to respiratory issues, neurological disorders, and even cancer.
  • Groundwater contamination Pollution of underground water sources by toxic substances like heavy metals, pesticides, or industrial chemicals is a significant health threat. Contamination often occurs due to improper disposal practices or leaks from landfills or storage tanks. Drinking or bathing in contaminated groundwater can result in serious health problems including organ damage, neurological disorders, cancer, and reproductive issues.
  • TCE and PCE contamination Trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) are chlorinated solvents commonly used for degreasing purposes in industrial settings and for dry cleaning. Contamination of soil or groundwater with these chemicals can occur through spills, leaks, or improper disposal practices. Exposure to TCE and PCE is associated with increased risks of cancer, liver damage, and neurological disorders.
  • Ethylene oxide contamination Ethylene oxide is toxic gas used primarily in the production of chemicals, the sterilization of medical equipment, and the fumigation of spices. The air near industrial facilities that permit ethylene oxide to escape through vents can become contaminated with the gas. Prolonged exposure to ethylene oxide is linked to respiratory issues, breast and blood cancers, and miscarriages.
  • PFAS contamination Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals used in numerous industrial and consumer products, including firefighting foam. Contamination of water, soil, or air with PFAS is widespread due to the fact that they do not break down in the environment and can travel great distances. Exposure to PFAS is associated with adverse health effects including immune system dysfunction, developmental delays, and increased risk of certain cancers.
  • Landfill contamination Pollution of groundwater, land, and air can be caused by the improper disposal of solid waste in landfills that are not constructed with the correct liners or gas collection systems. Flammable gases like methane can threaten the safety of surrounding homes. Leachate from decomposing waste can contain toxic substances that contaminate soil and groundwater, posing health risks to nearby communities.
  • Soil contamination Soil contamination result from industrial activities, improper waste disposal, or agricultural practices. Contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, volatile organic chemicals, and petroleum products can enter the soil and accumulate over time, posing risks to human health through direct contact, inhalation of dust, or ingestion of contaminated food or water.
  • Asbestos exposure Inhalation of asbestos fibers, typically found in building materials like insulation and tiles, can lead to serious health conditions such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Exposure often occurs during renovation or demolition of older buildings where asbestos-containing materials are disturbed, releasing fibers into the air.
  • Roundup exposure Glyphosate-based herbicides like Roundup are widely used in agriculture and landscaping. Exposure to glyphosate has been linked to various health issues, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders. The contamination of food crops with glyphosate can result in human exposure through ingestion. Inhalation or dermal exposure is more likely to be the result of using Roundup in your garden or occupation or working in a field that has been sprayed with the chemical.
  • Toxic chemical exposure Exposure to toxic chemicals, such as heavy metals, solvents, pesticides, and industrial chemicals, can cause adverse health effects ranging from acute poisoning to chronic illnesses and even cancer. Sources of exposure include industrial facilities, factory farms, consumer products, and environmental contamination. Health effects depend on the chemical and duration of exposure but can include respiratory problems, neurological disorders, and cancer.
  • Toxic tort lawsuits Toxic tort lawsuits seek compensation for individuals who are suffering from health problems due to exposure to hazardous chemicals. Plaintiffs must demonstrate that their injuries were caused by a polluter’s negligent actions or failure to warn about the risks of toxic exposure.
We Know the Legal Strategies Necessary to Win Complex Environmental Lawsuits

As a victim of environmental contamination, you cannot fight the polluter alone and you don’t want to put your fate in the hands of an inexperienced attorney. Our environmental litigators know the science and the law involved in these very complex environmental cases. Moreover, we have the connections and resources to hire the scientific and medical experts necessary to win your environmental contamination case and get you the compensation you deserve.

We have represented hundreds of clients in class action lawsuits and individual toxic tort cases, and we know the strategies that corporations will use to try to fight these claims and how to counter them. When you hire us, our toxic tort attorneys will take the worry off your shoulders, guide you through the legal system, take the time to address all of your questions and concerns, and always keep you up-to-date about the latest developments in your case. You can count on us for excellent representation because we have fought and won many environmental cases like yours.

Get Real Help From Tough, Experienced Environmental Lawyers

Fill out our contact form or call The Collins Law Firm today at (630) 527-1595 if you believe that your family is the victim of environmental contamination. Recovering compensation for the victims of negligence is what we do, and our environmental attorneys are ready to fight on your behalf.

For more information on specific toxic chemicals in your neighborhood--including how you may have been exposed, the health effects, reducing your risk of exposure, and what to do after you have been exposed--please click on one of the chemicals listed in our Toxic Chemical Information box on this page.

For more information on environmental contamination issues throughout the United States, please visit our Environmental Blog.

For more videos on toxic chemicals and environmental contamination, click here or watch our videos on our YouTube Channel.

Client Reviews
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.