Press Releases and News Coverage
We are proud to announce that our $363 million verdict in Kamuda v. Sterigenics U.S. LLC, et al., has been named the number one jury verdict among all practice areas in Illinois in 2022 by Top Verdict.... (continue reading)
The Collins Law Firm Selected as Finalist for Elite Trial Lawyers Award
The Collins Law Firm is proud to announce that it has been named a finalist for The National Law Journal and ALM/Law.com's 2023 Elite Trial Lawyers Awards... (continue reading)
Shawn Collins Named Nation’s Top One Percent by The National Association of Distinguished Counsel
Naperville attorney Shawn Collins, of The Collins Law Firm, has been selected as one of the Nation’s Top Attorneys for 2023 by the National Association of Distinguished... (continue reading)
Partner Shawn Collins Selected as Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America
Collins Law partner Shawn Collins has been named a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA). LCA is a trial lawyer honorary... (continue reading)
April 26, 2023 - Thank you to Christopher Harriss at Reckon News for writing this article and for interviewing partner Shawn Collins about the environmental impact of the recent railroad merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern. In the article, Shawn wonders why the East Palestine disaster didn't prompt us to take a hard look at the lack of regulations for the railroad industry. He also discusses how the increased rail traffic from the merger will create more cancer-causing pollution from diesel exhaust in multiple communities. Here is a quote from Shawn:
"East Palestine was our chance to learn that we have a massively profitable runaway industry that is essentially unregulated. That derailment was our moment to reexamine everything that's going wrong in the rail industry and why we don't have meaningful regulation. Instead, they have allowed the merger and now we'll have 11,000 more dangerous trains on the tracks."
Read the full article titled "The next East Palestine? US neighborhoods brace for huge increase in train traffic as rail merger takes effect" here.
March 16, 2023 - Thank you to WTTW - Chicago PBS for interviewing Collins Law partner Shawn Collins for their article on local opposition to the Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern merger. Leaders and residents in the areas that will be affected are concerned that the railroad company merger will increase air and noise pollution, cause emergency service disruptions, and increase the risk of hazardous materials incidents in Chicago and the northwest suburbs.
Shawn voiced his concern about the STB relying on information from the rail companies to make their decision to approve the merger, especially in light of the recent train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, which highlighted serious safety issues within the railroad industry.
Here is an excerpt from the WTTW article:
Shawn Collins, an environmental attorney in the Chicago area, said safety and transparency are key to rail safety, and found fault with STB relying on information from the train companies.
"This decision is far too trusting of the railroads. You don't take the polluter's word for anything that is important," Collins said. "What the railroads say has to be considered, but you don't stop there. This is the worst time to be rushing a decision allowing more freight rail cars rumbling through Chicago and the suburbs."
Please read the full article titled "Merger of Large Train Companies Approved Despite Opposition from Northwest Suburbs" here.
March 8, 2023 - Attorney Shawn Collins is quoted in an article in DC Velocity, criticizing the rail industry's sudden rush to unveil new safety initiatives just so they can set their own operating standards before federal regulators step in and set more rigorous ones. The industry is trying to preempt Washington policymakers from taking action in response to the toxic derailment in East Palestine, Ohio and claiming that their own rail safety measures will prevent future train derailments.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
Despite the rail industry's effort to set its own safety rules, other groups are already lining up to support tighter government regulation. The train workers' union the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) has already announced its support for the Rail Safety Act of 2023, a bill that would enhance safety procedures for trains carrying hazardous materials, establish requirements for wayside defect detectors, create a permanent requirement for railroads to operate with at least two-person crews, and increase fines for wrongdoing committed by rail carriers.
And Illinois-based environmental advocates with The Collins Law Firm have criticized Norfolk Southern's six-point safety plan for vague language, a lack of specifics, and no clear timetable. "This is Norfolk Southern saying it doesn't plan to do anything that matters," the firm's partner and owner Shawn Collins said in a release. "It just wants us to think that it's doing something, while it plays for time, trusting that this gibberish will placate industry friendly regulators and elected officials until the horrific train derailment in East Palestine is off the front page. History has proven that this cynical strategy will work."
Read the complete article, titled "As federal regulators plan tighter oversight, Norfolk Southern and AAR unveil their own rail safety plans" here.
Six Collins Law Firm Attorneys Designated as Super Lawyers for 2023
The Collins Law Firm is proud to announce that six attorneys at the firm have been named to the Illinois Super Lawyers list... (continue reading)
Plaintiffs in Chemtool Lawsuit Granted Class Certification
The Winnebago County Court has recently granted the Firm's Motion for Class Certification stemming from the Chemtool fire and explosion in Rockton, Illinois. Judge Stephen Ballogh granted class certification to property owners and residents who resided within three miles of the Chemtool facility.
The Chemtool facility in Rockton, IL exploded on June 14, 2021. The explosion resulted in an enormous chemical fire that created a massive plume of toxic smoke, ash, and debris that could be seen from 100 miles away. Eighty-nine fire departments were dispatched to the site to aid in combating the fire. Homes within a 1-mile radius were evacuated for almost a week due to the toxic plume in their neighborhoods.
Collins Law Partner Ed Manzke is on the Plaintiffs Steering Council for the Chemtool class action litigation. He was appointed to the council by Winnebago County Judge Donna Honsel in July of this year.
Collins Law Firm Represents Plaintiff Awarded Record $363 Million by Cook County Jury in First Sterigenics Trial
A Cook County jury has found Sterigenics responsible for causing plaintiff Sue Kamuda’s breast cancer, awarding... (continue reading)
The Collins Law Firm Named a 2023 Best Law Firm by U.S. News and Best Lawyers
The Collins Law Firm has been recognized both nationally and regionally as a 2023 Best Law Firm by... (continue reading)