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Illinois Federal Judge Rejects Defense – Town Must Defend Itself in Water Pollution Case

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Judge Virginia M. Kendall ruled that the Village of Crestwood Illinois must defend itself against more than 20 lawsuits claiming  that for more than 20 years the village knowingly used tap water polluted with toxic chemicals to cut costs.

In 1985 state regulators discovered perchloroethylene in the water supply well and urged the village to use an alternate water source. Instead, the village continued to use the well “in a cost-cutting move, until federal regulators shut the well down for good in 2007”.

The judge determined that even though the village said it simply distributed a defective product, the lawsuits fell under the pollution exclusion policies, outside of the scope of coverage.  Therefore, she ruled that “insurers Scottsdale Indemnity Co. and National Casualty Co. had no duty to defend the village, its former and current mayor, or its former water operator”.

The judge also said that even though the village did not cause the pollution, it knowingly spread it, an action that the insurance policies specifically bar.

Counterclaims filed by the village attorneys that the insurers breached their duties and acted “unreasonably and vexatiously” were dismissed.

breakinglawsuitnews.com disclaimer: This article: Illinois Federal Judge Rejects Defense – Town Must Defend Itself in Water Pollution Case was posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 at 8:32 pm at breakinglawsuitnews.com and is filed under Toxic Substances Lawsuits.

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