When You Need a Lawyer who Will Fight for You

TCE & PCE Contamination Lawyers

Quimicals barrels By the time the federal government started regulating the dangerous chemicals TCE and PCE in the 1980s, these cancer-causing chemicals were already in our soil and groundwater supplies, likely making countless people sick. Even though there are protective laws on the books now, the government's enforcement efforts are frequently ineffective, and often more protective of the companies that make and use these chemicals, than residents and workers most in need of protection.

The environmental lawyers at The Collins Law Firm, however, can use the law to fight on your behalf. From our law firm in Naperville, Illinois, our lawyers represent the victims of TCE and PCE contamination throughout the country.

We have recovered hundreds of millions on behalf of our environmental litigation clients and have successfully fought to make their neighborhoods safe places to live and raise children again. Contact us to continue the fight. Our TCE and PCE attorneys can help you get clean air and water and compensation if you have been harmed by toxic contamination.

TCE & PCE Contamination: A Problem That Has been Decades in the Making

Sadly, the illegal dumping of industrial solvents like TCE and PCE has been going on for decades. Corporations spent the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s dumping these chemicals, which then migrated underground, contaminating the soil and water. The legacy created by this illegal dumping is the endangerment of health and property values today.

How are TCE and PCE Used?

Trichloroethylene is a solvent used as a degreasing agent in metal fabrication operations. It is also used in other industries like carpet cleaning, textiles, leather production, adhesives, paints, inks, electronics, rubber ,and plastics. Perchloroethylene (also called tetrachloroethylene, PERC, or PCE) was used primarily in dry cleaning operations before it was phased out. Unfortunately, some dry cleaners improperly disposed of used dry cleaning fluid for years, causing long-term contamination of the soil and groundwater nearby. PCE is also used in industry for processing textiles and degreasing metal parts.

How Do People Get Exposed to TCE or PCE?

People can be exposed to TCE or PCE through breathing contaminated air, drinking or bathing in contaminated water; or eating contaminated food. Since TCE and PCE are slow to biodegrade and can stay in water for a long time, one very common source of exposure is through contaminated groundwater. Families with private wells are especially vulnerable because they get their water –for drinking, bathing, and washing dishes—directly from a groundwater source. If a plume of contamination migrates into their groundwater, the contaminated water will be coming right into their home every time they turn on a tap or spigot.

Another common method of exposure is breathing contaminated air. This happens when the TCE or PCE --in a contaminated groundwater plume underneath a neighborhood—changes into a gas (vaporizes) and migrates up through the soil and into homes through cracks in the foundation. The contaminated air is then spread throughout the house by the home’s AC system. This process of chemicals in vapor form intruding into a home or other structure’s breathing space is called vapor intrusion.

Health Impacts OF TCE and PCE Exposure

Inhaling TCE or PCE vapors or drinking water contaminated with these chemicals can lead to some very serious health issues.

Scientific studies have linked PCE exposure to:

  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver damage
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • End stage renal disease
TCE has been linked in studies to:
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Liver cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Liver cancer
  • Malignant lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Cardiac defects
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Impaired fetal development
  • Immune system damage
  • Reproductive issues
  • Scleroderma

Vulnerable populations, such as children and pregnant women, face heightened risks of illness and developmental disorders.

People who have become ill as a result of toxic exposure deserve the chance to hold the polluter accountable and to be compensated for their suffering. That is what our environmental attorneys do. We make polluters take responsibility for their actions, secure compensation for victims, and demand clean air and water for communities.

Damages of TCE and PCE Contamination

Radioctive Quimicals Our environmental attorneys also seek compensation for the economic damages that our clients have suffered. For example:

  • Homeowners in neighborhoods affected by contamination may experience diminished property values and difficulty selling their homes.
  • People who develop cancer as a result of exposure to TCE or PCE often face large medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of a job and income, and emotional distress.
  • Properties may be too contaminated to be used for any future commercial, residential, or industrial purpose, making them worthless.
  • Local governments may end up having to pay for costly cleanup efforts causing an undue financial burden on the whole community.
Why Choose The Collins Law Firm for your TCE or PCE Contamination Case?

The Collins Law Firm is the right choice for your TCE or PCE contamination case. We have a history of recovering significant compensation for our clients in toxic contamination cases against polluters. Representative cases include:

  • Schreiber v. Lockformer, et al: TCE Toxic Tort Case settled for $7.2 million. Shawn Collins and Ed Manzke were lead counsel for our client who, unbeknownst to her and her family, was exposed to contaminated water in her family’s home for many years during her childhood. Our client showered in, drank, and ate meals prepared with water contaminated with TCE dumped into the groundwater from a machining plant just blocks from her home. As a young adult, and just after she had earned her physician’s license in Illinois, our client was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer associated in scientific studies with exposure to TCE. After discovery, and after the main defendant sought the protection of a Delaware bankruptcy court, our client’s case settled for $7.2 million.
  • LeClercq v. Lockformer: TCE groundwater contamination case settled for $10 million. The groundwater beneath some 186 homes in Lisle, IL was contaminated with TCE dumped by a local machining shop, and its chemical supplier. The contaminated groundwater had migrated to the community just south of the industrial facility, contaminating each home’s water supply. When the contamination was discovered – due to our refusal to accept the polluter’s and government’s assurance that the TCE had not migrated to the nearby community – the case was filed, and proceeded at a very rapid pace, as the residents needed to secure clean water. The case settled just before closing arguments were delivered to the jury. Defendants agreed to clean up the contamination; fund the infrastructure and hookup fees to a brand new, clean water supply; and pay $10 million to compensate the class members for the temporary loss of the use and enjoyment of their homes.
  • Mejdrech v. Lockformer: TCE vapor intrusion case settled for $18 million. During the litigation of the immediately preceding case (LeClercq), it was discovered that the TCE contamination had migrated nearly two miles further to the south than was previously known. We filed a motion to certify a class of several hundred additional residents, which was granted. After significant discovery and motion practice, and the main defendant’s seeking protection in the Delaware bankruptcy court, this case was settled for defendants’ agreement to fund the installation of vapor intrusion mitigation systems; the piping of clean water into those areas of the class that had depended on the contaminated groundwater for their daily needs; and some $18 million in compensation for loss of use and enjoyment of the class members’ homes.
  • Confidential Settlement for $18 Million plus home value protection, testing, and cleanup in a vapor intrusion case. Shawn was lead counsel for the owners of more than 100 homes adjacent to a manufacturing facility, which, unknown to plaintiffs, had released large amounts of industrial solvent into the ground and groundwater for decades. Over time, the carcinogenic solvents (TCE, PCE, and vinyl chloride) migrated in shallow groundwater due east and settled under the homes in the adjacent neighborhood. These solvents vaporized and silently intruded in gas form into the breathing spaces of the overlying homes, where the residents unknowingly breathed the chemicals. Shawn and his co-counsel’s work resulted in a settlement providing for the residents’ homes being protected by vapor mitigation systems; a multi-million dollar cleanup of the contaminated ground water; extensive testing for the carcinogenic solvents in the neighborhood; a guarantee to each resident of the uncontaminated value of the home; and some $18 million in cash compensation.
  • Stoll, et al v. Kraft Foods: PCE/TCE groundwater contamination case settled for $8 million. The Collins Law Firm represented 124 families in Attica, IN in a class action lawsuit against Kraft Foods. The lawsuit sought to secure remediation and protection against the carcinogenic chemicals (PCE and TCE) in the groundwater that threatened to contaminate homes with chemicals vapors. The PCE contamination was caused by the owner of a local factory, which was later purchased by Kraft. The case was settled when Kraft agreed to fund extensive cleanup of the contamination, including the installation of a large barrier preventing the contaminated groundwater from migrating off of factory property and into the class members’ neighborhood. Kraft also paid more than $8 million in compensation to the homeowners.
  • McHugh v. Madison Kipp and Sorenson v. Madison Kipp: PCE vapor intrusion case settled for $7.1 million. The groundwater beneath a certified class of nearly 50 homes in Madison, WI was contaminated with PCE from a nearby manufacturer. The primary threat was vapor intrusion, because the contaminated groundwater was shallow, making it easy for the chemicals in vapor form to migrate upwards through soil and into the residents’ homes. After protracted litigation, we secured a settlement that included cleanup of the contamination, including replacement of the soil in the class members’ yards; the installation of vapor mitigation systems to prevent contaminated air from entering the homes; and compensation of some $7.1 million for temporary loss of use and enjoyment of property.
  • Bentley et al v. Honeywell International et al: TCE and PCE Grundwater contamination Case settled for $8.36 million. The Firm recovered over $8,000,000 for its clients in an environmental contamination case on behalf of families in Urbana, Ohio, whose groundwater was contaminated with TCE and PCE. We settled the case for $8.36 million, remediation of the contaminated area, and free hookups to clean water.
  • Bendik v. Precision Brand Products Inc and Precision Steel Warehouse Inc: Toxic tort personal injury case settled $2.6 million. Precision Brand used trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) to clean metal parts at its facility. The company released large quantities of the chemicals, which migrated through the soil and into groundwater beneath the company's property, contaminating Belmont Highwood Water Service District community wells. These wells provided the water for our client’s home. After 10 years of exposure to the toxic water, our client was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma before her senior year of high school. We settled the case for $2.6 million.
Our TCE and PCE Contamination Attorneys Have the Experience to Win

If your life, health, or home have been threatened or damaged by TCE or PCE contamination, it is important to work with environmental attorneys who have the experience and know how to get the best results for their clients. We will not just stop at getting you compensation. We will fight to make corporations clean up the air you breathe, the water you drink and the soil you build your home on.

Contact The TCE and PCE lawyers at The Collins Law Firm as soon as possible at (630) 527-1595 if your family members are the victims of PCE and TCE contamination due to illegal disposal by a reckless corporation. We are ready to fight on your behalf.

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.