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Levenfeld Pearlstein Helps Plaintiffs Secure $15 Million Settlement in Environmental Class Action


December 4, 2006

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2 minutes



For more information, contact:
Jason Milch: 312-846-9647
Stephanie Tebrock: 312-476-7554

CHICAGO – Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC today announced that James D. Brusslan, head of its Environmental Law Service Group, has helped to secure a settlement of more than $15 million on behalf of more than 800 families in an environmental class action lawsuit. The lawsuit had been filed against 13 tenants of the Ellsworth Industrial Park in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, Ill., alleging that toxic chemicals generated by the defendants had seeped into the plaintiffs’ private drinking water wells. Judge John Darrah of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois approved the settlement in November and the proceeds will be distributed to class members this month.

The lawsuit sought damages for loss of property value, aggravation and annoyance, costs for bottled water and medical monitoring. Under the settlement, class members with measured levels of contaminants in their water that exceed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA)maximum allowable contaminant levels will receive approximately $31,000 per household. Other class members with lower or no detectable levels will receive less. All exposed class members are also eligible for free medical testing.

For several years, many residents of the area near the industrial park had been drinking and bathing with groundwater from private wells that were contaminated with solvents, including trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene, which are known to cause cancer. In 2001 Illinois EPA tests found that the levels of chemicals in the wells exceeded maximum federal safety standards, tracing the source of the pollution to the industrial park. Following Illinois EPA’s findings, impacted residents were forced to purchase bottled water and use it for drinking and bathing their children. In addition, many had to shower with their windows open in order to avoid breathing toxic fumes.

In 2003, DuPage Country, where the impacted homes were located, worked with the U.S. and Illinois EPAs, the DuPage County Water Authority, the Village of Downers Grove, and the responsible companies, to convert the residents’ homes from well water to Lake Michigan water.

“We are pleased to have assisted the residents impacted by the Ellsworth Industrial Park contamination in obtaining a fair settlement to help offset the inconveniences and medical worries that they were forced to endure,” Brusslan said.

Mr. Brusslan is available for interviews upon request.


About Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC: Founded in 1999, LP has grown to over 75 professionals with offices in Chicago and Northfield. The firm represents sophisticated entrepreneurs and institutions in real estate, corporate and securities and litigation. For more information, visit

Filed under: Litigation

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