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Class action lawsuit filed against Chemtool following massive fire

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Chemtool fire 2021 2

ROCKTON (WREX) — One week after a massive fire at a chemical plant in Rockton, residents have filed a class action lawsuit.

Click here for more coverage of the Chemtool fire

The Collins Law Firm, P.C. has filed a Class Action lawsuit against Chemtool Incorporated following the fire.

The lawsuit seeks 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.  

RELATED: Inspection shows Chemtool plant was not completely equipped or properly protected by sprinklers

“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. 

13 WREX reached out to Lubrizol about the lawsuit. Here's the statement they provided:

While we do not comment on legal matters, I can again re-iterate that we are devastated by this event and deeply regret the disruption and inconvenience that is has caused area residents. We are committed to helping the community, including donations we have made to the Northwestern Illinois Red Cross, the Northern Illinois Food Bank and the Rockton Lions Club. We have also arranged for removal of fire-related debris, and the number to request service is listed on our response website – This has already helped many. Additionally, we have reimbursement claim forms posted on our website for individuals and businesses. Finally, while to-date date test results point to no impact to water systems, Chemtool is offering bottled water for residents with private wells in the evacuation area as wells are tested. Residents should reach out to to request support. We will continue to offer ongoing support to our neighbors as needs emerge.

You can read the full complaint below. (Click here if you're reading on the 13 WREX app)


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Andrew Carrigan

Andy Carrigan is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager at WREX. He joined the 13 WREX team as a photographer in 2016 after graduating from Northern Illinois University.

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