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Firm News

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, 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.

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 two associates, Dayna Smith and Katharin Ebbesen, have passed the Illinois Bar.

Dayna Smith graduated at the top of her class from Vermont Law School in 2020 where she focused on environmental law. While in law school, she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and was a member of the school's environmental law moot court competition team. Dayna joined The Collins Law Firm as a law clerk in 2019 and returned as an associate in 2020. She focuses her practice in environmental litigation and personal injury.

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

August 2020 The Collins Law Firm Joins Other Plaintiffs' Law Firms in Filing 600 New Lawsuits Against Sterigenics

The Collins Law Firm has filed additional lawsuits against Sterigenics on behalf of 55 plaintiffs who believe their breast and blood cancers were caused by the company's toxic emissions. These new cases are in addition to the lawsuits we filed earlier on behalf of 26 similarly affected plaintiffs. Highlighting the scope and seriousness of the problem, our firm and the other law firms representing the victims of Sterigenics' ethylene oxide contamination, filed a total of more than 600 new lawsuits against the company responsible for emitting an airborne carcinogen into the community for decades. With the addition of these new cases, the total number of individual lawsuits pending against Sterigenics is now more than 700.

"We are firmly committed to securing justice for those whose lives have been forever changed by the egregious behavior of Sterigenics and the other defendants. Their sheer disregard for human lives is staggering, clearly and repeatedly choosing profits over people," said Shawn Collins of The Collins Law Firm.

For more news coverage of the filings click here.

July Top Jury Verdicts in Illinois in 2019

Congratulations to Shawn Collins, Edward Manzke, Robert Dawidiuk and John Risvold for their recognition for having two of the top jury verdicts in Illinois in 2019!

Shawn Collins and Robert Dawidiuk represented our client in a jury trial that resulted in a Three Million Dollar verdict in a claim alleging that our client's intellectual property was being infringed by a larger competitor. This verdict was one of the top 50 jury verdicts in Illinois for 2019.

In November, John Risvold and Edward Manzke tried a contentious slip and fall on ice case in Cook County. After a week trial, the jury awarded $186,486.00 resulting in a top 100 verdict in Illinois for 2019.

Personal Injury Results

The Firm recovered $175,000 for a client who sustained permanent scarring after a dog bite.

The Firm recovered $48,000 for a client who suffered anaphylaxis after consuming food that was not properly labeled to identify ingredients that were known allergens.

The Firm recovered the policy limits of two carriers for a client who was in separate accidents one month apart.Both matters were resolved pre-suit.

Business Litigation Results

The Firm successfully settled a business non-compete and unlawfully solicitation lawsuit, involving two nationally recognized real estate servicing entities.

The Firm worked with one of our banking clients in documenting and closing a $25,000,000 commercial participated loan. The out of state loan is participated amongst a group of strong lenders, including our banking client as lead.

The Firm won a complete dismissal of all claims against our client, a national security agency and shopping center management corporation. The unfounded claims sought money damages based upon purported discrimination at an Indiana shopping mall. The claims were unfounded and dismissed upon our filings.

June Personal Injury Results

The Firm recovered $275,000 for a client who tripped and fell at a senior living community. Our client sustained a broken shoulder. The case was settled pre-suit through mediation.

During the month of June, the Firm settled several automobile accident cases including: a client who sustained neck injuries after being rear ended by a young driver who claimed he wasn't paying attention; a client who sustained a chest wall injury after a rollover accident; a client who sustained neck, back and wrist injuries after being rear ended.

In total, for the first half of 2020, the Firm recovered over Three Million Dollars for our personal injury clients.

Business Litigation Results

The Firm successfully defended our client accused of investment fraud with a complete dismissal of all claims. The plaintiffs lost nearly 2 million dollars in investments, and filed suit against two defendants. The other defendant (not our client) was sentenced and is currently in federal prison. While the initial action brought against our client defendant seemed daunting, including a signed writing that our client was responsible to pay money to the plaintiffs involving the investment losses, all claims have been dismissed after a very hard-fought multi-year litigation, after the Firm filed for sanctions based upon the plaintiffs' abusive discovery tactics including allegations of hiding key documents.

COVID-19 - With the realty of COVID-19 new cases on the rise in many states, we have worked with our national and international clients in restructuring upcoming mass events in Nashville, Orlando, Paradise Valley, Miami, Denver, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Austin and Dallas. We are excited that business partners are uniformly working together in looking towards to the future building of relationships rather than engaging in business litigation.

The Firm has closed multiple large-scale real estate development loans during June. We are excited that developers continue to build during this time. And that confidence appears well-placed as the Firm also closed several commercial transactions during June, which is a continued indicator that the market is rebounding.

Environmental News

The Firm continues to represent clients who developed cancer due to ethylene oxide contamination at the Sterigenics plant. Shawn Collins is quoted in Grist:

Activists shut down these cancer-causing plants. COVID is bringing them back.

May Personal Injury Results

The Firm recovered the policy limits for a client who was intentionally struck and run over by another driver. The client sustained multiple injuries, including uterine and pelvic injuries that resulted in surgical intervention.

The Firm recovered $113,000 for a client who slipped on ice at her apartment complex's parking lot when the management company failed to properly remove the snow and ice after a snowfall. The client sustained a fractured ankle.

The Firm recovered the policy limits for a client who sustained back injuries as a result of another driver turning left in front of her, causing a collision.

The Firm recovered the policy limits in an underinsured motorist claim for a client who was sideswiped, sustaining a torn meniscus and rotator cuff tear.

Business Litigation Results

The Firm documented subscription financing for mid - eight figures for a new luxury apartment complex in Plainfield.

The Firm represented a national client for its non-competition and non-solicitation claims against a former executive, winning a favorable settlement lump sum payment in Wisconsin.

The Firm was pleased that our opponent's appeal in the Federal Third District Court of Appeals was dismissed on motion; thereby upholding the District Court's holding dismissing the underlying case which sought in excess of $10 Mil in damages against our client.

The Firm represented an international metal parts company against a supplier in a multi-state dispute, which was settled shortly after our firm's filing of aggressive counterclaims in DuPage County.

The Firm finalized a very successful settlement on behalf of international marble import company. This Uniform Commercial Code litigation was aggressively contested in a competing action brought in New York; however, our client's case was resolved shortly after the Firm filed an emergency TRO against our client's adversary in Illinois.

The Firm represented one of our real estate holding company clients in the sale of its Denver, Colorado business and leasing center.

The Firm represented a national equipment manufacturer and distributer in selling its Phoenix, Arizona franchise.

The Firm successfully settled a highly contested partnership dispute, representing the single owner against the other oppressing partners. The matter settled favorable to our client days before our Firm's motion for dissolution was to be presented to the Court.

Congratulations Law School Graduates!

We are very proud of our law clerks who recently graduated law school.

Katy Ebbesen graduated 7th in her class from Northern Illinois University College of Law, achieving the highest honors award, Summa Cum Laude. She was a Moot Court and Mock Trial semi-finalist, and won numerous awards during her time there, including awards for achieving the highest grade in Evidence, and the highest grade in Securities Regulation. Katy will be taking the Illinois bar exam in September and will join the firm full time this fall as an associate attorney.

Dayna Smith graduated from Vermont Law School at the top of her class. During her time at VLS, she focused on environmental law, served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, and participated in the school's environmental law moot court team. Dayna is back home in Illinois studying for the bar exam and looking forward to beginning her legal career at the Collins Law Firm as an associate attorney.

April Personal Injury Results

During the month of April, the Firm recovered One Million Dollars for a child who was injured in a boating accident. The settlement was for the policy limits.

The Firm recovered a $275,000 arbitration award for a client who was hit by another driver in a head-on collision. Our client sustained a concussion and surgical repair of shoulder and elbow injuries.

The Firm recovered $100,000 on behalf of a client who was injured in a T-bone intersection accident and required surgical intervention for a rotator cuff tear.

The Firm recovered $125,000 for a client who was on a motorcycle when a truck turned left in front of him, causing a collision with multiple injuries.

Business Litigation Results

The Firm documented over Four Million Dollars in new capital funding for a national fitness organization.

During this stressful time, the Firm is working with our bank clients in providing help to both our local and national commercial borrowers. During the past two weeks alone, the Firm has worked to restructure and document over Forty Million Dollars in credit facilities on behalf of our bank clients.

The Firm obtained summary judgment including all attorney fees on a breach of a contract claim for $150,000 in Kane County.

The Firm closed on a factory sale in excess of Three Million Dollars on behalf of one of our clients located in downstate Illinois.

The Firm obtained summary judgment and collected all amounts due, including attorney fees, in an action against an out of state title company owing money to one of our local clients.

The Firm represented a national client in the sale/purchase of property located in Tennessee in a Two Million Dollar transaction, which successfully was closed despite during these very challenging times.

The Firm obtained judgment including attorney fees against a law firm owing funds pursuant to a note obligation on behalf of one of our out of state banks. The law firm vigorously contested the action claiming that the debt instrument was unenforceable against it.

March Community Involvement

During this most challenging of times, we must take care of each other. Our firm has chosen to donate to NEF's Kid Booster Crisis Fund so that the children and families in our community most impacted by sickness, school closings, and job loss during this pandemic will know that we are there for them. We at The Collins Law Firm respectfully ask and challenge others in our community to donate to the Kid Booster Crisis Fund, or to another agency giving relief to families impacted by Covid-19. To donate to NEF, please click here:www.nef203.org/donateNaperville Education Foundation

Collins Law Firm Partners Named as Leading Lawyers for 2020

Two of The Collins Law Firm's partners have been named as Illinois Leading Lawyers again in 2020. Shawn Collins has been named a Leading Lawyer in environmental law, class action/mass torts plaintiff law, and commercial litigation, and Robert Dawidiuk has been named a Leading Lawyer in commercial litigation, and banking & financial institutions law.

Leading Lawyer designation is received by less than 5% of lawyers in each state. Attorneys who receive this recognition have been recommended by their peers to be among the TOP LAWYERS in their areas of practice. Selection to Leading Lawyers is the result of a lengthy process that involves interviews and contact with thousands of lawyers. In one phase of the process, a survey is sent to all licensed lawyers in the state asking them the following question: "If a family member or friend needs legal help and you can't take the case, which lawyers would you recommend within your area of law or geographic region?" Only those lawyers who are most often recommended, and later approved by an advisory board of highly awarded lawyers, are chosen for recognition as Leading Lawyers.

The Collins Law Firm would like to congratulate these attorneys on their recognition.

February Personal Injury Results

During the month of February, the Firm recovered over $600,000 for its personal injury clients. Those cases include: a young woman injured in a motorcycle accident; a couple injured in a T-bone accident at an intersection; two pedestrians who were struck by a car as they were walking through a crosswalk; and a defective products case.

Business Litigation Results

The Firm won a complete dismissal with prejudice in defense of our national manufacturing client, sued under multiple alter ego and successor liability claims in Maryland.

The Firm successfully represented one its banking clients involving a troubled double-digit portfolio of rental properties. At its conclusion, the Firm was able to recover 100% of all amounts owed to the lender, including attorney fees.

The Firm represented a national client in the complex sale of one of its manufacturing facilities exceeding $20,000,000.

The Firm represented its IT client in a breach of contract action against a national defense company. We were able to recover 100% of all amounts owed under the contract.

The Firm settled a construction lawsuit for our client, a General Contractor, for construction work outside the state of Illinois.

Super Lawyers Recognition

The Firm is pleased to announce that four attorneys at the firm have once again been named to the Super Lawyers list.Shawn Collins, Edward Manzke, and John Sopuch have been named as 2020 Super Lawyers, and attorney John Risvold has been named a 2020 Rising Star. Only 5% of lawyers in Illinois are recognized by Super Lawyers for their professional achievement. We congratulate our attorneys on this recognition of their dedication and hard work:

Shawn Collins, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago Law School, represents environmental and business clients in complex litigation throughout Illinois and the country. His environmental cases, brought on behalf of families and communities fighting corporate polluters, have set precedents and helped The Collins Law Firm become a nationally recognized environmental litigation firm. He has been on the "Super Lawyers" list eleven times.

Edward Manzke represents personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death clients all over Illinois. He earned both his bachelor's degree and his law degree from the University of Illinois. Since becoming a lawyer in 1992, Ed has won verdicts and settlements for his clients totaling over $100 million. Ed has been selected as a "Super Lawyer" fourteen times since 2006.

John Risvold represents victims and families in Illinois in personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. John earned his bachelor's degree and his law degree from the University of Missouri, graduating from the law school with the prestigious Order of Barristers. He has been a Super Lawyers Rising Star four times.

John Sopuch III , a graduate of the University of Texas and Pepperdine Law School in California, serves Of Counsel at The Collins Law Firm and represents clients in business litigation and commercial dispute resolution. He has been a Super Lawyer since 2018.

Happy New Year From Collins Law

We wish all of you a Happy New Year and hope your outlook for 2020 is bright. As we look ahead to another busy and successful year, we would like to take this opportunity to share with you what we accomplished in 2019.

Our Environmental litigation team, led by Shawn Collins, recovered $34.5 million for our clients and was instrumental in protecting clients' homes against intrusion by toxic vapors.

Our Personal Injury team, led by Ed Manzke, recovered $3.65 million for our clients seriously injured in auto accidents, motorcycle crashes, or by medical errors and other negligent acts.

Our Business law division, led by Rob Dawidiuk, achieved the following:

  • $201.24 million in commercial litigation victories, including
    • $180.3 million in defense wins
    • $5.7 million in defense trial verdicts
    • $15.24 million in recoveries for commercial clients
  • $200 million in commercial real estate financing
  • $45 million in completed business transactions

As always, thank you for your support! We look forward to providing you with the best representation possible in 2020.

The National Trial Lawyers
Best Law Firms
Super Lawyers
Best Lawyers
Leading Lawyers 2021
America's Top 100
Martindale Hubbell
Avvo
Environmental Trial Lawyers - Top 10
Expertise - Best Car accident Lawyers in Naperville Top 100 Motor Vehicle Accident Settlements
American Association for Justice
Illinois State Bar Association
ITLA
The Chicago Bar Association
DCBA
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.