3/4/2013 Crestwood Water UpdateOn August 30, 2012, the Village of Crestwood and Robert Stranczek filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ claims based upon the allegation that the water samples taken of the Crestwood drinking water never exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) as set forth by the EPA. Defendants argued, in short, that because the water samples that were tested never exceeded the MCLs, they did not breach any duties owed to the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs’ responded to this motion (disagreeing whole heartedly), and also asked to court for time to conduct additional discovery in the case in order to better support Plaintiffs’ response. On February 4, 2013, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ request to conduct additional discovery. Currently, there are approximately 13 depositions set to proceed in the next three months. The testimony collected during these depositions will be used to supplement Plaintiffs’ response to Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. On the criminal front, the jury trial has been reset and is tentatively set for 4/15/2013 at 9 AM. There is a status hearing on 3/13/2013.
8/6/2012 Crestwood Interrogatories- Due September 1, 2012Dear Clients, As you know our case against the Village of Crestwood has taken many twists and turns over the past six months some favorable, others not as favorable as we would like. First, we valiantly attempted to argue in both the District Court and the Federal Appellate Court that the Villages insurance companies should cover your injuries. The Village had insurance coverage in the multiple of millions of dollars, but the insurance company had a paragraph called a "pollution exclusion". The "Pollution exclusion" effectively said that the Village would not have insurance coverage for issues which arise out of pollution. We argued that the failure to maintain their tap water at certain levels, and the failure to warn of the hazards does not squarely fall within the pollution exclusion. The 7th Circuit court of Appeals ultimately disagreed with our view, and Judge Posner ruled that the pollution exclusion applies. We also argued that the cases should all be combined in a class action and the court disagreed with that, stating that the injuries are too varied to treat the case as a class. While we acknowledge that those rulings were not as we wished, we have a long road ahead, and a lot more to do, and strongly believe that the Village will be held accountable for their misconduct in allowing tainted water to reach the faucets of the good residents of Crestwood. Favorably, the cases were all assigned to Judge Tom Hogan, who I believe is one of the best judges on the bench. He is hard working, very smart and will give everyone a fair trial. He has set a "discovery" schedule which allows us to proceed in an orderly manner. Basically, we will be answering written discovery, by September 1, 2012. As you know I am meeting with several of you in Crestwood to finalize those answers. Others we have not had to answer discovery at this juncture and you will not be meeting with me. After I send the answers to written questions to the opposing counsel, we will move on to depositions, and thirty depositions will be taken of certain of you that will be chosen by me. At that point the parties will meet and determine twelve plaintiffs which will be chosen as the first (or test) cases to be tried. Naturally, we believe that it is in the Villages interest to try to resolve this amicably and we hope that at a certain point we may proceed to mediation, which is a process where the parties try to sit down and see if the cases can settle. This may occur in the spring or summer of 2013. I know this may seem to some of you a long way off but there are many moving parts to your cases and naturally we have to at least get some of the discovery done in order that the plaintiffs and defendants can evaluate the potential of resolution by mediation or settlement. If it does not settle, then we are fully prepared to take this matter to trial. Either way, we are moving the cases forward and gaining insight as we do so. This correspondence is public as it is on the website, and contains information which is public knowledge. However, this does not mean in any way that this communication should be interpreted as waiving any sort of attorney client communication, nor does it substitute for the private conversations I may have with each of you at times. However, given the number of people who were affected, we would rather avoid repeating the same information 300 times. I also thank each of you because you have realized that repeated phone calls' asking for a status is not necessary given that we post the status on line. As the time for depositions comes, this will require that I meet with those individuals who may be deposed. These conversations will of course be private. As well, you should avoid discussing the specifics of your case with anyone other than us as your attorneys. Certainly do not talk about your case to employees of the Village. I continue to thank you for allowing me the privilege of representing you in this case. We believe that our case sends a message to Villages that they cannot engage in a willful indifference to their resident’s health by allowing the mixing of tainted chemicals with the water system. Sincerely, Jay Paul Deratany
2/2/2012 Crestwood UpdateThe lawsuits against the Village of Crestwood and other defendants involved with the water contamination in the Village of Crestwood are pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County. In the lawsuit against the Village of Crestwood, the Deratany Firm is seeking partial class certification on behalf of its clients. This motion is scheduled to be argued in March. The Deratany Firm is also working on answering Discovery propounded by the Defendants on clients of the Deratany Firm. If you are a Crestwood client of the Deratany Firm and have not yet received or completed a discovery package in the case, please contact the Deratany Firm today. A motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss certain cases against the Village of Crestwood has also been filed by the Village of Crestwood, which the Deratany Firm is addressing. The Deratany firm continues to actively investigate this matter on behalf of its clients. The Deratany Firm is also scheduling depositions of key witnesses in the case which will take place in the near future. There are also multiple lawsuits filed by insurance companies related to insurance coverage for the incidents involved in the Crestwood lawsuits. The Deratany firm is responding to these lawsuits on behalf of its clients. Recently, oral argument was heard one of the cases. The oral argument can be accessed here: http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/fdocs/docs.fwx?caseno=11-2762&submit=showdkt
The Deratany Firm can be reached at (312)857-7285 or email@example.com.
11/12/2010 All Crestwood Clients to Receive a Packet by Nov. 26Over the next week The Deratany Firm will be sending out a discovery package with questions for you to answer in regards to your case. The packet will be sent out to some by e-mail and others by U.S. Mail. Please follow the instructions contained in the packet. If you do not receive a packet by November 26, 2010, please contact The Deratany Firm.
9/2/2010 Settlement as to Water Bills – Deadline to Participate September 30, 2010A proposed settlement was reached in a Class action lawsuit, Marzano v. Village of Crestwood et al. This settlement relates only to contract claims and water bills, and not the personal injury and wrongful death claims for which our firm represents you. The settlement authorizes residents of Crestwood to receive up to 20% of the amount paid in water bills. We initially felt that this settlement could impact your rights in the personal injury and wrongful death claims in which our firms represent you. However, I have good news. We filed a motion objecting to the proposed settlement order and moving to modify the order. My firm appeared in court today and entered an agreed order on your behalf which provides that "Nothing contained in the Stipulation of Settlement shall have any effect on the right, if any, of an individual class member to pursue claims individually or as a class for personal injuries and/or wrongful death and any remedies relating to those claims." Given that this order was entered, we feel that you can now participate in the settlement as to the water bills, without adversely affecting the rights in your personal injury and wrongful death cases, if you so desire. The decision on whether to participate in the class action is your decision. If you wish to participate in the settlement, you will need to go to www.villageofcrestwood.org and download the claim form, and the form entitled "Notice of Pendency of Litigation." If you are unable to go to this website, please contact our firm and we can forward the forms to you. Please note that you must carefully read the forms and follow all instructions on those forms, and we cannot be responsible for you following the instructions and conditions of the settlement. To participate in the settlement, you must complete the claim form and sworn statement and postmark them on or before September 30, 2010, or you will be ineligible for any refund related to the water bills. If you do not wish to be included in the settlement as to contract claims for water bills, you must mail an exclusion to the address provided in the decrements which must be postmarked by September 30th. Again, I must emphasize that you must follow the specific instructions on the claim forms and the form "Notice of Pendency of Class Action." Feel free to contact our office with any questions.
8/16/2010 Settlement in Crestwood Relating to Water BillsRecently, a proposed settlement was reached in a class action lawsuit Marzano v. Village of Crestwood et al. that could substantially affect your rights. This class action involves recovery for contract claims based on the Village’s contract with residents to provide water. If you are a client of the Deratany Firm in the Crestwood matter, we advise against signing any documents relating to the proposed settlement without first calling our firm and speaking with one of our attorneys. If you believe you or a loved one suffered an injury or illness from the water from the Village of Crestwood, please contact the Deratany Firm to discuss your potential claim.
8/15/2010 Update on Crestwood LitigationAs you know, we have filed the lawsuit, captioned Charlene Earley et. al. v. Village of Crestwood, et. al, against the Village of Crestwood, Chester Stranczek and Robert Stranczek. We are happy to report that we were successful in consolidating this case with other similar cases and transferring it to the Law Division. We also represent clients in the matter captioned Arlen et. al v. Playfield Cleaners et al, which has named as defendants, Playfield Cleaners, the owners of Playfield Cleaners, and Playfield Plaza Development Inc. and several other defendants. Our complaint recently survived a motion to dismiss, and we are working on re-pleading certain allegations. Additionally there are several other related lawsuits that were filed in which our firm represents clients who consumed the water in the Village of Crestwood. These lawsuits are related to the insurance coverage of the defendants. Many of the defendants purchased insurance policies to protect them against liability. Under these insurance policies, the insurance companies have a duty to defend the defendants and insure them against certain losses. However, lawsuits have been filed asking the court to declare whether the insurance companies must defend the lawsuits and insure against your injuries and the injuries of the other plaintiffs. One of the main insurance cases we represent clients in is captioned Scottsdale Indemnity Company, et. al. v. Village of Crestwood et. al. This case relates to the insurance of the Village of Crestwood and the mayors. The insurance companies in this case have filed a motion for summary judgment seeking the court to declare that the insurance companies do not have to defend the Village in the underlying lawsuits and do not have to insure against the losses of the injured parties. We have filed briefs relating to this issue and oral argument will be heard on this matter on August 19, 2010 at 10:00 am in Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago, Court Room 2319. Anyone interested in hearing the arguments can attend. The other insurance actions include: First National Insurance Company of America v. Playfield Plaza Development, et. al., State Farm v. Choong Suk Joo et. al., Metropolitan Property v. Chester Stranczek, The Village of Crestwood v. Hartford Fire, and Illinois Emcasco v. M.J. Kelly Inc., et, al. We are currently working on litigating these matters and will advise you of further updates as they arise. As always, if you have any questions about this matter or another matter, please do not hesitate to contact our firm and speak with one of our experienced attorneys.
Chicago, (May 17, 2013) – The plaintiffs in the civil suit against the Village of Crestwood, IL amended their complaint to include Burke Engineering, Tuesday. The civil case stems from the tainted water scandal that has plagued the village and its residents. It was discovered in 2009, that the village was drawing a portion of […]
More than 100 Navy service members have filed suit against the owner of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. The service members were part of the 5,000 or so aboard the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and they all helped in the cleanup after the March 11, 2011 tsunami that caused wide spread damage to coastal regions of Japan. […]