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Rockton Chemtool Explosion

Our law firm can file a lawsuit or take other legal action on your behalf

A massive industrial fire at Chemtool, Inc. in Rockton, Illinois forced nearby residents to evacuate the area due to smoke and debris scattered throughout the area. The industrial explosion remains under investigation, but many nearby residents have already taken legal action against the company. Some residents have filed lawsuits or sought class action status against Chemtool on the grounds of negligence.

The industrial accident has prompted many questions. Who can file a lawsuit? What is the deadline for taking legal action? Were residents exposed to dangerous chemicals? What are the symptoms of chemical exposure? The lawyers at Coplan + Crane can answer all these questions about the Illinois chemical explosion and many more.

Our attorneys have years of experience handling complex legal cases involving industrial accidents and other examples of negligence. In case after case, our law firm has consistently secured millions of dollars in settlement claims and jury verdicts for injury victims and their families. We also have experience handling class action lawsuits. Case results matter here.

What happened at Chemtool?

On June 14, 2021, a fiery explosion occurred at the Chemtool, Inc. plant, resulting in plumes of dense black smoke that could be seen for miles near the chemical plant. Residents within a one-mile radius of the industrial explosion were evacuated as debris from the fire rained down on nearby homes and businesses.

The chemical plant produces chemical fluids, lubricants and grease products. Lead, sulfuric acid, antifreeze and other chemical products are also often stored at the plant. As a result, nearby residents may have been exposed to hazardous chemicals due to the industrial explosion.

The explosion is under investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), which is also investigating a previous complaint involving safety and health violations at the chemical plant. OSHA investigators conducted an unannounced inspection at the plant on May 20 in response to the previous complaint.

Federal investigators are also investigating the foam used to extinguish and contain the June 14th chemical fire. The foam contained per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have been linked to numerous health problems, including cancer and damage to organs like the kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

Symptoms of chemical exposure

Exposure to dangerous chemicals can cause a wide range of serious health problems, including many short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic) health issues. Warning signs of exposure to hazardous chemicals include:

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Red or irritated eyes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Stomachaches
  • Diarrhea

You know your body best. If something doesn’t seem right, seek immediate medical attention, including going to an emergency room at the nearest hospital if necessary.

In some cases, certain health problems caused by exposure to hazardous chemicals can have life-threatening consequences. That’s why it’s important to have a doctor examine you right away and diagnose exactly what’s wrong.

In other cases, some health problems caused by hazardous chemicals take months or years to develop. That’s why it’s important to carefully monitor your health and to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor to make sure you do not have any serious chronic health issues.

What are your rights

If you believe you have been exposed to hazardous chemicals due to the Chemtool plant explosion, you may be able to file a lawsuit or take other legal action against Chemtool, Inc. Many nearby residents have already taken legal action against the company.

Chemtool, Inc. has been in business since 1963. The industrial fluid and lubricant manufacturer is owned by the Wickliffe, Ohio-based chemical firm Lubrizol, which is owned and operated by Berkshire Hathaway.

It’s also important to keep in mind that you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action in most cases. In Illinois, the deadline (known as the statute of limitations) for filing a lawsuit in such cases is normally two years from the date of the accident. However, it’s important to talk with a lawyer sooner since other deadlines may apply in this case.

How we can help

An experienced attorney at Coplan + Crane can review the details of your case and clearly explain the legal options available to you. We can then get straight to work on your case and file a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary.

We know how to handle complex legal cases. We thoroughly understand the state and federal laws that apply to chemical explosions. We know how to access inspection records, accident reports and other official documents related to industrial accidents. We also have extensive experience negotiating favorable settlements or securing jury verdicts for injury victims and their families.

Protect your family’s rights and learn more about your options in response to the Chemtool chemical plant explosion. Contact us and schedule your free case evaluation right now. We have the knowledge and the expertise you need to tackle your tough legal case.