Firm News - Part 3

  Business Litigation Results

The Firm's Rob Dawidiuk was admitted to practice in Michigan to defend a national client in a product liability case.

The Firm won a victory on an appeal before the federal 3d District Appellate court arising from conspiracy claims.

The Firm obtained summary judgment on two separate leasing actions and recovered and collected amounts due to our landlord clients.

The Firm successfully resolved trade secret litigation on behalf of our national client in the medical field, recovering and collecting the favorable settlement amount.

The Firm obtained a dismissal with prejudice for our client being sued by a Florida resident on conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty allegations.

The Firm successfully completed several multi-million dollar transaction this past month, including sales of franchise enterprises on the east coast, shopping centers in Indiana, Rockford, and commercial buildings in Highland Park and Melrose Park.

Commercial litigation attorney Len Hudson filed a breach of contract action on behalf of a franchisor against a former franchisee and, in less than three months, recovered a substantial settlement that was more than 15 times the costs of litigation.

Environmental Litigation News

Partner Ed Manzke has been named to the Plaintiffs Steering Council for the Chemtool class action litigation in Illinois state court in Winnebago County. The appointment was approved by Winnebago County Judge Donna Honsel on July 20, 2021.

The Chemtool facility in Rockton, IL exploded and caught fire on June 14, 2021, sending a toxic plume of dust and smoke out into nearby neighborhoods and triggering an almost week-long evacuation of residents within 1 mile of the plant. The extent of the damage to the community from the explosion and subsequent fire is still undetermined.

Collins Law founder, Shawn Collins commented on Ed's appointment: "This is a very important case, and I'm proud that my partner, Ed, has been chosen for this responsibility and honor. The families affected by this tragedy are fortunate to have him as their lawyer."


July 2021 Personal Injury Results

The Firm settled over $2.5 Million in personal injury cases in the first half of 2021.

The Firm's personal injury clients sustained significant injuries in premises liability and auto accidents.

Business Litigation Results

The Firm recovered and collected 100% of amounts due plus all attorney fees for Illinois bank client in downstate litigation. The recovery was high six-figures.

In highly contested fraudulent conveyance litigation involving multiple cases and appeals, the Firm recovered and collected 100% of amounts owed to client, in excess of seven-figures.

The Firm won a highly contested summary judgment motion on claims exceeding seven-figures in Cook County litigation.

The Firm successfully collected a seven-figure tax reimbursement payment owed to its client, located in Florida.

The Firm successfully obtained a full dismissal of all claims of wrongdoing made against it client, an international religious organization.

The Firm's Rob Dawidiuk was admitted to practice before the Iowa Supreme Court and in the Southern District of Iowa federal court in order to defend a national client in Iowa litigation.

Maggie Galka featured in Vermont Law School Alumni Magazine

Collins Law environmental attorney Maggie Galka was recently featured in the Vermont Law School alumni magazine for her work with a non-profit--the Environmental Justice Community Action Network ("EJCAN")--that she helped found in 2020 with five other Vermont Law School alumni. EJCAN works directly with low-income and communities of color to give them a fighting chance when confronted with toxic contamination and injustice. As Maggie explains, "EJCAN is focused on...your right to a clean and healthy environment and how that right might be affected by racism, sexism, and classism, because they are linked. We want to help communities find solutions on all sides of the problem, not just environmental solutions." Kudos to Maggie for her hard work and recognition!

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June 2021 The Collins Law Firm Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Chemtool for Explosion

The Collins Law Firm, P.C. has filed a Class Action lawsuit against Chemtool Incorporated for the explosion that occurred at their Rockton, Illinois plant onJune14,2021. 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 property 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 of The Collins Law Firm.

About The Collins Law Firm: The Collins Law Firm represents families against polluters throughout the United States, fighting for clean air, soil and water, and compensation for injury to property and health caused by dangerous chemicals dumped and spilled into the environment. For more information on The Collins Law Firm please visit: www.collinslaw.com .

Media Coverage:

WIFR TV 23: Residents file lawsuit against Chemtool after fire *

Chicago Tribune: Rockton homeowners pursue class-action lawsuit over massive chemical fire *

Union Bulletin *

WREX: Rockton residents file civil suit against Chemtool and Lubrizol  *

Class action lawsuit filed against Chemtool following massive fire

Rockford Register Star: Rockton neighbors file class action lawsuit against Chemtool over explosion  *

3 lawsuits filed over Rockton Chemtool explosion, fire that forced residents to evacuate

WBBM 780: Class action lawsuit filed against chemical plant for Rockton explosion

WGN 9: Rockton residents suing Chemtool and parent company over damages caused by chemical plant fire

My State Line: Rockton residents suing Chemtool and parent company over damages caused by chemical plant fire

ABC 7: Class action lawsuit filed against Chemtool, parent company over Illinois chemical plant fire

Law 360: Chemical Co. Slapped With Class Action Over Plant Explosion

WKOW: Class action lawsuit filed against Chemtool following massive fire

WSIL: Class action lawsuit filed against Chemtool following massive fire

KCRG TV: Residents file lawsuit against Chemtool after fire

WTVO: Rockton residents suing Chemtool and parent company over damages caused by chemical plant fire

Yahoo News: Rockton homeowners pursue class-action lawsuit over massive chemical fire

Daily Legal Press: Rockton homeowners file class action lawsuit against Chemtool, Lubrizol Corporation over chemical plant explosion, fire

Fox 32: Homeowners in Rockton filed class-action lawsuit Chemtool

Bloomberg Law: Chemical Fire at Buffett-Owned Illinois Plant Prompts Lawsuit

Top Class Actions:

Chemtool Blamed for Explosion, ‘Massive Toxic Smoke and Dust Plume’ in Homeowners’ Class Action Lawsuit

Link: The Collins Law Firm Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Chemtool for Explosion


May 2021

We are pleased to announce the Collins Law Firm family has grown over the last few months!

Congratulations to attorney Katharin Ebbesen on the birth of her daughter, Alexandra and congratulations to attorney John Risvold on the birth of his son, Theodore.We know the future holds great things for these new additions!

We also welcome two new summer associates this year:

Danielle McNamara is a 2020 graduate from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where she studied Political Science. She just finished her first year of law school at Loyola University Chicago School of Law this May.

Bridget Bryck attends the University of Washington School of Law and received her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame. Bridget plans to become an environmental attorney when she finishes law school.

We would also like to congratulate attorney Dayna Smith on receiving the Learned Hand Award for Academic Excellence for 2020. Each year, it is awarded to the graduate with the highest cumulative grade point average. Danya also received the Mark Mihaly Environmental Leadership Award for 2020 for demonstrating leadership in the field of environmental law. Dayna graduated law school from the Vermont Law School, the most prestigious environmental law school in the country.

Congratulations to Dayna on her accomplishments- she is a wonderful asset to the Firm!

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April 2021 Personal Injury Results

The Firm settled over $1.5 Million in personal injury cases in the first quarter of 2021.

The Firm's personal injury clients sustained significant injuries in the following types of cases: nursing home neglect; premises liability, and auto accidents.

Business Litigation Results

The Firm won a complete dismissal with prejudice on behalf of our national security organization.

The Firm won summary judgment on behalf of an Illinois lender client in a significant contested multiparty multistate litigation.

The Firm successfully resolved Michigan litigation on behalf of our national manufacturing client.

The Firm successfully resolved Indiana litigation on behalf of a national deal of machinery.

The Firm won a judgment on 100% of amount claimed at arbitration against an insurance carrier denying coverage.

The Firm won a arbitration on behalf of a national television production for the sale of commercial space for 100% of amounts due plus all attorney fees.

The Firm successfully resolved Mississippi litigation on behalf of a national client falsely accused of alter ego liability with our client paying $0 on the seven figure damages demand.

The Firm recovered all sums due and owing within weeks of filing suit in Colorado on behalf of a nation health organization client.

The Firm completed over $20 Million in new financing for banking clients for business loans in Illinois and Florida.

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February 2021 Recognizing Accomplishments

As the Collins Law Firm forges ahead in 2021, we want to take a moment to look back and acknowledge the diligence and hard work of our attorneys and staff last year. They rolled with the punches and continued to successfully represent our clients, despite setbacks from Covid-19. Below are some of our accomplishments for 2020.

First, we would like to recognize our Business Law team: attorneys Rob Dawidiuk, Leonard Hudson, Erin Showerman, Tim Collins, and Katharin Ebbesen. Our Business Law division, led by Rob Dawidiuk, achieved the following in 2020:

  • Defense judgments in excess of $100 million
  • Plaintiffs settlements /verdicts in excess of $5 million
  • $80+ million in commercial real estate financing
  • $75+ million in completed business transactions

Next, we would like to recognize our Personal Injury team: attorneys Ed Manzke and John Risvold. Our Personal Injury division, led by Ed Manzke, recovered $4.5 million for our clients seriously injured in auto accidents, motorcycle crashes, boating accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and falls, and more.

We would also like to recognize our Environmental Division, Attorneys Shawn Collins, Maggie Galka, and Dayna Smith. Shawn Collins and the firm were appointed co-lead counsel in a consolidated action in Cook County State Court called In re Willowbrook Ethylene Oxide Litigation , in which more than 750 cancer victims allege that their illnesses were caused by exposure to a carcinogen known as ethylene oxide, which had been emitted from the defendants' plant in plaintiffs' community.

Finally, we would like to thank the support staff at the Collins Law Firm for their contributions in making our year a success: office manager Yvonne Blackwell, paralegals Kristie Taylor, Amber Blevins, and Kaila Sachs, marketing manager Meg Collins, and writing and research associate Cat Collins.

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January 2021 Personal Injury Results

The Firm settled half a million dollars in personal injury cases in January.

Cases include a driver who sustained two torn rotator cuffs and a torn meniscus in an eight-car pile-up in Will County, all of which required surgical intervention. The Firm obtained the policy limits from each responsible driver.

The Firm settled a case for the policy limits of $100,000 on behalf of a client who sustained a traumatic brain injury in an auto accident. The defense offered $23,000 pre-suit. The Firm filed suit and after the Plaintiff's deposition, the defense offered the policy.

The Firm settled an uninsured motorist case for a young couple in Kane County who were struck by a drunk driver causing extensive soft tissue injuries to both clients.

Business Litigation Results

The Firm favorably settled a real estate boundary lawsuit in a dispute over a seven-figure property. The settlement following contested litigation arose over a near 20-year adverse possession dispute.

The Firm won summary judgment on a real estate lease matter in DuPage County for a shopping center client.

The Firm successfully dismissed a suit filed against our client in Texas, based upon lack of jurisdiction.

The Firm obtained summary judgment for 100% of all damages sought plus attorney fees on a commercial real estate guaranty.

The Firm prevailed on two highly contested TRO proceedings for clients in Cook County and Ohio.

The Firm prevailed on a motion for significant money sanctions for discovery abuses during a high seven-figure litigation.

The Firm favorably settled a joint venture dispute following highly contested litigation.

The Firm successfully resolved Colorado litigation on behalf of our national client.

The Firm documented and closed 4 commercial loans in January exceeding Fifteen Million Dollars.

Goodbye to 2020

As The Collins Law Firm says goodbye to what was otherwise a challenging year, we want to acknowledge the diligence and hard work of our attorneys and staff. They rolled with the punches, managed working remotely, and continued to successfully represent our clients, despite setbacks from Covid-19. Below are some of our accomplishments for 2020.

First, we would like to recognize our Business Law team: attorneys Rob Dawidiuk, Leonard Hudson, Tim Collins, and Katharin Ebbesen. Our Business Law division, led by Rob Dawidiuk, achieved the following in 2020:

  • Defense judgments in excess of $100 million
  • Plaintiffs' settlements /verdicts in excess of $5 million
  • $80+ million in commercial real estate financing
  • $75+ million in completed business transactions

Next, we would like to recognize our Personal Injury team: attorneys Ed Manzke and John Risvold. Our Personal Injury division, led by Ed Manzke, recovered $4.5 million for our clients seriously injured in auto accidents, motorcycle crashes, boating accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and falls, and more.

We would also like to recognize our Environmental Division, attorneys Shawn Collins and Maggie Galka. Shawn Collins and the firm were appointed co-lead counsel in a consolidated action in Cook County State Court called In re Willowbrook Ethylene Oxide Litigation , in which more than 750 cancer victims allege that their illnesses were caused by exposure to a carcinogen known as ethylene oxide, which had been emitted from the defendants' plant in plaintiffs' community.

Finally, we would like to thank the support staff at the Collins Law Firm for their contributions in making our year a success: office manager Yvonne Blackwell, paralegals Kristie Taylor, Amber Blevins, and Kaila Sachs, marketing manager Meg Collins, and writing and research associate Cat Collins.


December 2020 Collins Law Firm Accomplishments

Congratulations to Collins Law Firm attorney John Risvold for being recognized by Top Verdict for having one of the Top 100 Motor Vehicle Accident Settlements in the United States in 2019! John recovered $1,000,000 for his client who was injured in a motor vehicle accident.

The Collins Law Firm wants to thank Best Lawyers© and U.S. News & World Report for including us on their Best Law Firms list once again in 2021. The firm received a Tier 3 National Ranking in Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions. We also received a Tier 2 Regional Ranking in Commercial Litigation and a Tier 3 Regional Ranking in Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs and Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions.

The Collins Law Firm is proud to announce that Partner Shawn Collins has been selected for inclusion on the 2020 Irish Legal 100, a listing of leading figures in law across the United States.

"I want to thank Irish Legal 100 for including me on their 2020 list among so many distinguished lawyers, scholars, and judges." said Shawn Collins.

With over 30 years' experience in the law, Mr. Collins focuses his practice on representing plaintiffs in environmental litigation and businesses in commercial disputes. A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Collins recently visited Ireland and County Limerick where his family has roots.

The Irish Legal 100, founded in 2008 by the Irish Voice newspaper, is an annual compilation of the most distinguished legal professionals in the United States who share one common bond: pride in their Irish roots. The list includes attorneys, legal scholars and members of the judiciary who have distinguished themselves in their fields of endeavor.

Collins Associates Pass Illinois Bar

The Collins Law Firm is proud to announce that our associate, Katharin Ebbesen, has passed the Illinois Bar.

Katharin A. Ebbesen graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northern Illinois University College of Law, where she concentrated in business law and earned various honors, including awards for highest marks in Securities Regulation and Evidence. Katharin joined the Collins Law Firm in 2019 as a law clerk and continued with the firm as an associate attorney in 2020. She focuses her practice in corporate law, banking, and commercial litigation.

Congratulations to you both!

On behalf of all of us at The Collins Law Firm, we would like to wish you and yours a healthy and prosperous 2021. Happy New Year!

September 2020 Personal Injury Results

A week before the Firm was set to start the first Will County jury trial in the COVID era, we settled our client's case for $302,000. The initial offer was $38,000. The client was hit by a drunk driver and sustained injuries that required surgical intervention. Through our discovery efforts, we were able to establish a strong liability case against the Defendant, including his willful and wanton conduct. We were also able to establish evidence that the insurance carrier acted in bad faith in evaluating the claim. As a result, we were successful in opening the policy beyond the $100,000 policy limits and settling the case for over three times the policy limits.

Business Litigation Results

Attorney Robert Dawidiuk was sworn into the District Court for the Northern District of Texas to represent the Firm's client in a seven-figure litigation.

The Firm obtained summary judgment against a restaurant chain for breaching obligations owed to the Firm's client under lease agreements.

The Firm successfully resolved a contentious construction lien disputes involving a large national chain convenience store chain. The contracting lien claimant alleged mechanic lien rights, however, the Firm was able to reach a very favorable settlement after challenging the enforceability of the lien.

The Firm closed the purchase and sale of a software company.

Two Collins Law Attorneys Honored by Best Lawyers in America

The Collins Law Firm is proud to announce that partners Shawn Collins and Edward Manzke have been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Shawn is recognized for his nationwide work in environmental litigation, and Ed for his work representing personal injury plaintiffs. Best Lawyers lists are compiled annually following exhaustive peer-review evaluations. This year's list highlights the top 6% of private practicing attorneys in the country based on more than 8 million votes.

After receiving notice of the recognition, Shawn Collins responded, "I am honored to be recognized for my work fighting for justice for communities and individuals harmed by toxic chemicals." Ed Manzke also expressed his appreciation, adding, "It is gratifying to be recognized in the company of such an accomplished group of attorneys. I hope to remain worthy of this honor by continuing to represent my clients with compassion, honesty, and integrity."

Best Lawyers in America are nominated and reviewed by their peers based on their professional experience. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence, and inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a significant honor in the legal field.

September Newsletter Link

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.