When You Need a Lawyer Who Will Fight for You

Firm News

Million Dollar Personal Injury Settlement

Our client suffered catastrophic leg injuries as a result of a drunk driving roll-over crash of a recreational vehicle, a UTV, while on a fishing trip in Wisconsin. The client underwent four surgeries and had permanent scarring, pain and numbness. The Firm was hired as co-trial counsel. After being hired, we were able to defeat the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. The case settled shortly after a contested mediation for a million dollars.

Environmental Lawsuits Filed Against Sterigenics

The Firm has filed 12 lawsuits against Sterigenics alleging that our clients contracted cancer after being exposed for years to Sterigenics' ethylene oxide emissions. Ethylene oxide, classified by the EPA as "carcinogenic to humans", is a chemical with mutagenic properties that has been linked in studies to multiple cancers and an increased risk of miscarriages. The lawsuits, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, were brought on behalf of our clients who have suffered from, or lost a loved one to, breast cancer, multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, leukemia, and T cell lymphoma.

The lawsuits allege that Sterigenics knowingly emitted cancer-causing ethylene oxide starting in 1985 and continuing through 2019. And as a result, our clients, who lived or worked near Sterigenics for years, were exposed to a carcinogen that-- according to a government report--raised their cancer risk many times above the national average. To see recent media coverage featuring two of our clients, Yasmeen Harrison and Jeanne Hochhalter, click on the links below:

Commercial Litigation Jury Trial Verdict

On July 12, 2019, a DuPage County, Illinois jury returned a verdict in our client's favor in a breach of contract claim that also sought to pierce the corporate veil under and alter ego theory. The Plaintiff requested approximately $2.75 million. Our client, an Indiana-based healthcare company and its alleged alter ego, stuck to their guns before a 12 person jury. After a week of testimony, the jury found in our client's favor. The jury also rejected third party claims for fraud and aiding and abetting the breach of a fiduciary duty.

Personal Injury Settlements

The Firm has recovered a confidential settlement for a client who sustained injuries as a result of negligence at a residential treatment facility. The case was settled prior to filing suit.

Personal Injury Settlements

The Firm has recovered approximately $300,000 for personal injury clients during the month of June. Cases include an elderly woman struck as a pedestrian and two auto accident cases where our clients were involved in crashes on Interstate 88.

Business Litigation Results

The Firm won an appeal on behalf of a national auditing company. The appellate court upheld the significant summary judgment ruling entered in DuPage County. In affirming the order, the Second District held that our position as to the hotly contested municipal contract were correct, and our client was entitled to the relief sought.

The Firm was successful in obtaining a dismissal of a claim against our client, an international publishing company. After previously winning on a similar motion, this time the dismissal was "with prejudice".

The Firm was successful in obtaining a very favorable result in defending class action litigation in Cook County. The case, which involved multiple jurisdictions and numerous related lawsuits was concluded this past month on terms very favorable to our client.

The firm completed $51 Million in M&A deals including national and franchise sales.

The Firm obtained a dismissal with prejudice on behalf of a client wrongfully sued in Illinois by a well-known national motivational speaker. The circuit court agreed with our motions that our clients were not subject to Illinois jurisdiction, resulting in a dismissal of the claims against them.

Welcome New Law Clerk, Katy Ebbesen

We are excited to welcome Katy Ebbesen to the firm as our new law clerk. Katy is currently in her 3rd and final year at Northern Illinois University College of Law where she is at the top of her class. She will be working with our Commercial Litigation and Business Law Department. Katy comes to us with extensive paralegal experience and we believe she will be a big asset to the firm.

Environmental Contamination Case Against Ford

The Firm continues to pursue Ford on behalf a group of Michigan residents whose neighborhood has been contaminated by groundwater contamination from a nearby Ford manufacturing plant. The case is scheduled for trial in September. Recent media coverage of the case can be found in the following links.

Personal Injury Settlement

The Firm has recovered $150,000 for a client hit by a semi-truck, causing a fracture of her right foot and soft tissue injuries to her shoulder. The claim was settled pre-suit.

Welcome New Law Clerk, Dayna Smith

We are happy to welcome Dayna Smith to the Firm. Dayna is from Frankfort, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2014 with an undergraduate degree in biological sciences and a minor in sustainability. Dayna also holds a master's degree in biology from Western Illinois University. Dayna is currently a rising third-year law student at Vermont Law School in South Royalton, VT. At school, Dayna focuses her studies on environmental law.

Personal Injury Settlements

Within the past month, the Firm has recovered $500,000.00 for its personal injury clients. The cases include a motorcyclist struck by a young driver, a woman who was injured at a local car dealership, and an intersection collision where a husband and wife were both injured.

Super Lawyers 2019

The Collins Law Firm is pleased to announce that Super Lawyers has once again named four attorneys at the firm to the Super Lawyers list. Attorneys Shawn Collins, Edward Manzke, and John Sopuch have been named as 2019 Super Lawyers, and attorney John Risvold has been named as 2019 Rising Stars. This honor is only granted to the top five percent of lawyers in the state based on performance and peer recognition. Attorneys are selected from over 70 practice areas after a rigorous selection process conducted through peer nomination, independent investigation and evaluation. We would like to congratulate these attorneys for being recognized as Illinois Super Lawyers in 2019.

John Risvold attends Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers College Jury Selection Seminar

This past weekend in Chicago, John Risvold attended the Trial Lawyer's College regional Voir Dire Seminar. Over the course of three days, John trained with trial lawyers from around the country and was led by lawyers who have tried hundreds of cases before juries. The seminar was put on by lawyers trained by famed trial lawyer Gerry Spence and the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College. Gerry Spence's Methods of Voir Dire introduce students to a method of jury selection in which they learn how to identify the danger points in their cases, to reframe them into points of power, and how to approach potential jurors as an inclusive, rather than exclusive, process. "This seminar changed the way I look at cases, and how I handle jury selection. The skills I learned at the TLC seminar will improve every aspect of my cases and will help my clients tremendously," Risvold said of the program.

Three Million Dollar Trial Verdict

The Firm obtained a $3,000,000.00 jury verdict after a seven day trial in the Northern District of Illinois. More than 15 fact and expert witnesses testified, and the jury deliberated just three hours before returning a verdict in favor of the Firm's client. The case involved litigation in multiple venues before the Firm was able to secure this victory for its client.

Personal Injury Settlements

Within the past month, the Firm has recovered $500,000.00 for its personal injury clients. The cases include a slip and fall, a bicyclist struck by a car, and a minor who sustained a fractured arm at an indoor play center for children.

John Risvold named to Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Executive Board

John Risvold was selected to serve on the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Executive Board for 2019-2020. John will serve as the Young Lawyers' Section Project Officer, overseeing the bar association's special projects and events. He is one of only 10 lawyers selected to serve on the executive council.

Welcome New Attorney, Erin Showerman

Erin recently joined the Collins Law Firm as an associate attorney. She focuses her practice on banking, finance and commercial litigation. She is experienced in all areas of real estate litigation with a focus on residential and commercial mortgage lending litigation and counseling lenders in the best secured lending practices and collection strategies.

Neighbors upset as proposed annexation marks 'first step' toward expanding Zion landfill

The Collins Law Firm's Zion Landfill case made the news recently with an article in the Lake County News Sun. Advanced Disposal, which owns and operates the Zion Landfill, has applied to annex another 110 acres to expand the landfill. Neighbors, who are negatively affected by the stench, the dirt and the garbage coming into their neighborhood from the landfill, are opposing any expansion plans. They are currently embroiled in a lawsuit against Advanced Disposal over the impact that the existing landfill has had on their quality of life. The Collins Law Firm is representing these families against the garbage company which is aware of the negative impact their landfill has had on the community but is pushing to expand anyway. In the article, attorney John Risvold stresses how the city of Zion has a moral obligation to protect their residents from Advance Disposal's reckless behavior and should require the company to compensate nearby property owners for the damage the landfill is inflicting on them. To read the full article, click on the link below.

Chicago Tribune:

Collins Law Firm Attorney John Risvold Represents Family in Lost Ashes Case

Four siblings are suing a funeral home, a delivery company and UPS after an urn containing their father's ashes was lost. After their father died of pancreatic cancer last year, the four siblings decided to share his remains. Three of them received their urn, but a sister in Indiana learned her package had been damaged in transit and thrown away. "There are guidelines specifically designed to prevent this kind of tragedy," said the family's attorney, John D. Risvold. "If they had been followed, it would have been prevented." For more coverage of this story click on the links below.

Daily Herald:

Naperville Sun:

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The Collins Law Firm Has Been Named to the 10 Best Law Firms List for Outstanding and Exceptional Client Service in 2018-2019 by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys Attorney Shawn Collins Talks to Dave Savini at CBS 2 About the Sterigenics' Lawsuits

Recently, investigative reporter Dave Savini did several in-depth segments on CBS 2 about Sterigenics and their behavior in emitting a cancer causing chemical called ethyelene oxide into the Willowbrook community. In the pieces, he interviews Collins Law Firm attorney Shawn Collins--who is fighting to make this company take responsibility and for justice for his clients--and our client Jeanne Hochhalter who has been at the forefront of the battle against Sterigenics' toxic emissions. Thank you to Dave Savini and CBS 2 for giving a voice to people whose cancer may have been caused by the recklessness of this company and for continuing to raise awareness of this very real health threat in our communities. For the complete story click the links below.

CBS 2:

Collins Law Firm Represents Family of Hazing Victim

Collins Law Firm attorneys, Shawn Collins and John Risvold, are representing the family of hazing victim Anthony Brookman, a high school student from Braidwood. Anthony’s parents say he was assaulted by teammates during a hazing ritual at a summer football camp at Reed Custer High School. After Anthony reported the attack, Allison and Richard Brookman say, their son was bullied and harassed by fellow students for almost a year while school administrators did almost nothing to his attackers. Check here for more news coverage of the lawsuit.

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The story also appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Daily Journal, USA Today, BBC Press and other outlets:

Robert Dawidiuk Has Been Nominated as AIOLC's 10 Best in Illinois For Client Satisfaction in Real Estate Law

The American Institute Of Legal Counsel has recognized the exceptional performance of Collins law Firm Attorney, Robert Dawidiuk, as a 10 Best Legal Counsel for Client Satisfaction.

The American Institute Of Legal Counsel is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Legal Counsel in each state. Attorneys who are selected to the "10 Best" list must pass AIOLC's rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research, and AIOLC's independent evaluation.

AIOLC's annual list was created to be used as a resource for clients during the attorney selection process.

Selection criteria, therefore, focuses on attorneys who demonstrate the highest standards of Client Satisfaction.

We congratulate Robert Dawidiuk on this achievement!

Personal Injury Recovery

The Firm obtained a six figure settlement on behalf of a woman who fell at a restaurant on an unmarked step, fracturing her leg and both arms. Suit was filed and resolved at mediation.

U.S. District Court Rules in Plaintiff's Favor

The Firm represents a disabled minor who was assaulted in a group living home. The defendant-group living home asked the Court to dismiss the case, arguing that our client could not show the home to be responsible for the assault. The Court disagreed, and refused to dismiss the case. It will now go to discovery where we will obtain the defendant's documents and sworn testimony concerning our allegations that it failed to protect our client.

Personal Injury Recoveries

This month the Firm resolved three cases on behalf of car crash clients for the total policy limits. All three were settled while in the middle of litigating the cases. After taking depositions of the parties and establishing the clear fault and the severity of our clients' injuries, the insurance companies all agreed to turn over the full policy limits in order to settle these cases.

The Firm also resolved a wrongful death case involving allegations of premises liability and negligence. The case was settled after expert discovery for a confidential amount.

Commercial and Banking Litigation

The Firm was recently successful at trial in a case involving a dispute over real estate. Our client was wrongfully sued as a party to a real estate contract. All attempts at resolution failed, necessitating the trial, where we prevailed. The Firm also expects to get full reimbursement of our client's defense costs based upon the fee shifting provision contained in the real estate contract.

Personal Injury Investigations

The Firm is currently investigating several potential wrongful death, medical malpractice claims involving the failure to diagnose life threatening conditions.

Personal Injury Recoveries

The Firm recovered a six figure settlement for a mother and daughter who were injured in an intersection auto accident in Naperville. The collision took place when the defendant driver made a left turn in front of our clients’ vehicle. The case was pending in Will County and was resolved in less than a year.

Commercial and Banking Litigation

The Firm obtained a dismissal with prejudice on behalf of a defendant alleged to owe $500,000 on a fully executed note. The Firm also closed on $6,000,000 in loan documents on behalf of local lender clients for commercial real estate development.

More Press Coverage for Family's Lawsuit Against Chaddock

Local press coverage of our most recent lawsuit. In this case, The Collins Law Firm is representing the family of a developmentally disabled teenage girl who was sexually assaulted after being led away from Chaddock, a supposedly secure facility in Quincy, IL. The family is suing Chaddock for emotional distress and negligent supervision.

See the WGEM news coverage here.

Read the Herald-Whig news story here.

Naperville Attorneys Named Super Lawyers For 2018 Attorneys Shawn Collins, Edward Manzke, John Risvold and John Sopuch III of The Collins Law Firm Were Named to this Year's Super Lawyers List

The Collins Law Firm based in Naperville, Illinois, is pleased to announce the following attorneys have been included in the 2018 Super Lawyers list for Illinois. This honor is only granted to the top five percent of lawyers in the state based on performance and peer recognition. Attorneys are selected from over70 recognized practice areas after a rigorous selection process conducted through independent investigation, peer nomination and evaluation. Selections are made on an annual basis.

Shawn Collins is a founding partner of The Collins Law Firm who represents environmental, personal injury and business clients in complex litigation. Shawn graduated summa cum laude with majors in business and accounting from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He earned a J.D. at the University of Chicago Law School in 1986. Since then, he has earned a reputation as an accomplished trial lawyer. Shawn was recognized by The American Trial Lawyers Association as one of the top 100 trial attorneys in America from 2005 through 2018. He was named by his peers as a "Leading Lawyer" in Illinois, an honor only offered to five percent of the lawyers in the state. Shawn has been included on the Super Lawyers list from 2005 to present, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award by America's Top 100 Attorneys for Illinois. Fewer than 0.05 percent of attorneys achieve this top designation.

Edward Manzke is an accomplished trial attorney who represents personal injury and wrongful death clients. He graduated with an economics degree from the University of Illinois, and earned a law degree from the University as well. Ed has a reputation for securing compensation for personal injury clients, and has been an expert witness in environmental contamination cases. He has tried cases before the Illinois state courts, Illinois Supreme Court, Illinois Appellate Court and federal courts across the United States. Ed has been selected as a "Super Lawyer" in Illinois for 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018. His cases have been reported upon by prominent news organizations, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and MSNBC.

John Risvold represents personal injury, medical malpractice, environmental injury and wrongful death clients. He graduated from the University of Missouri and attended the University of Missouri School of Law, graduating with the prestigious Order of Barristers. This distinction is only awarded to the top 10 trial lawyers in each class. During law school, John was additionally recognized for his trial ability with the R. David Ray Excellence in Trial Advocacy Award and CALI Award for the best Trial Advocate. After graduation, he gained experience representing both the defense and plaintiff before joining The Collins Law Firm. In 2017, John was named to the Super Lawyers Rising Star List for Illinois. This honor is only bestowed upon 2.5 percent of Illinois lawyers under the age of 40 in any given year.

John Sopuch III serves Of Counsel at The Collin Law Firm and represents clients in business litigation and commercial dispute resolution. John studied English and history at the University of Texas and graduated with a legal degree from Pepperdine University in California. Accomplished in law school, he was a member of the Law Review, wrote for The Law Review's California Supreme Court Survey and was named as a Dean's Merit Scholar. John became the youngest partner at the firm of Bickel & Brewer in Chicago, leaving in 1997 to start his own law firm - Soupuch Annett Higgens & Gaubert. John was appointed in 1999 and 2001 as a Special Assistant Attorney General to assist the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue with several cases, and settled over 10 million dollars worth of complex litigation. In 2005, he transitioned to the Hawaii law firm of Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fischer and settled one of the highest wrongful death suits in Hawaii.

About The Collins Law Firm, P.C.

The Collins Law Firm, P.C., in Naperville, Illinois, was named a "Best Law Firm" for 2017 by U.S. News and World Report. The firm has won over $100 million in settlements for its clients with environmental law, personal injury and business litigation cases. The Collins Law Firm has been featured in the news time and again for its work fighting contamination cases and against other powerful interests.

The firm represents individuals and businesses in Cook, DuPage and Will counties as well as clients throughout Illinois. Call them at (630) 527-1595 or email the firm to schedule a free consultation. When you need someone to fight for your interests, they will be there for you.

Norman Berger Joins the Collins Law Firm as Of Counsel

After serving as co-counsel to The Collins Law Firm in many ground-breaking environmental cases over the last 18 years, Norman Berger has joined the Firm as of counsel, where he will help lead the Firm's efforts to demand clean up and financial compensation for the families they represent who have been put in harms' way by dangerous chemical contamination.

Norm's Long Track Record in This Area is Extraordinary

He has been litigating environmental cases for over 30 years, beginning with his work as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois enforcing environmental laws in the 1980's. He participated in many of the major Superfund cases in the Midwest during the early years of Superfund enforcement in the late 80's and early 90's. He tried one of the first Superfund private cost recovery cases in federal court, and has since been involved in litigating environmental cases under the federal Superfund statute, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and many State statutes nationwide. For the last 18 years, together with The Collins Law Firm, Norman has represented individuals and families whose homes have been contaminated by industrial pollution, resulting in diminished property values, property damage and serious health issues. Their efforts in this area have resulted in remedies ranging from mandatory property cleanup to the provision of clean water supplies to monetary reimbursement for property damage and medical expenses in excess of $65 million. This includes negotiating a $7.2 million settlement in a toxic tort case for a client whose childhood exposure to chemicals caused cancer.

Shawn Collins, founder and partner at The Collins Law Firm welcomed Berger by saying: "We are really lucky to have Norm join us. He's a great lawyer, with a rare combination of technical ability and passion for helping the families for whom we work. The cases are difficult, and the stakes are as high as they could be. The peace and safety of our clients' homes, and their children's health, are often on the line, as we battle some of the world's largest companies, who are represented by some of the best lawyers, from the largest law firms. But Norm is more than up to the challenge, and I can't imagine anyone I'd rather go into these important battles with."

Norman also serves a current member and past chairman of the Dean's Advisory Council at DePaul University College of Law, has served as a faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and was a founding participant in the Pro Bono Committee for Representation of Indigent Defendants.

Norman was honored with the Outstanding Service to DePaul University Award in 2013 for his efforts on behalf of the University, and has been recognized by Illinois Super Lawyers every year since its inception, from 2005-2017.

Shawn's Lifetime Achievement Award

The Collins Law Firm would like to congratulate founder and partner, Shawn Collins, for being nominated for a Lifetime Achievement honor as one of America’s Top 100 Attorneys for Illinois. Less than one half percent of attorneys in the United States will receive this prestigious award. Shawn will join an elite list of nationally recognized lawyers from around the country, which includes many current and former presidents of major bar associations and attorney groups, and some of the best lawyers in Illinois. Only 100 attorneys in a state can hold the lifetime achievement award, and they are selected through a rigorous process.

Candidates for membership as one of America’s Top 100 Attorneys are initially nominated by elite peers or identified through third party research. Nominees must then pass through a multi-phase screening process that includes more third party research and a complex analysis that includes an attorney’s lifetime legal achievements, professional experience, case results and verdicts, peer reputation, client satisfaction, other honors and community impact, before being selected.

Shawn is honored to be included among the elite lawyers who have accepted a lifetime Achievement honor as one of America’s Top 100 Attorneys. As Shawn says: "My selection as a Top 100 Attorney is a great honor, of course, but one that must be shared with my wife and daughters, law partners, associates, and staff, as nothing I have accomplished as a lawyer would have been possible without their support and professionalism."

An outstanding trial attorney, Shawn has extensive experience in high stakes litigation in environmental, toxic tort, personal injury and commercial law. Many of his cases are against some of the biggest corporations in the world, and he thrives on "David versus Goliath" legal battles and never backs down from a fight. As a result, Mr. Collins and his law firm have recovered in excess of $415 million for his clients in their practice.

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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.