Crestwood, IL: A class action lawsuit brought against the south suburb of Crestwood that alleged that the suburb had been secretly pumping contaminated water to households for more than 20 years has reached an approved settlement worth an estimated $2.8 million. As part of the settlement the town's residents will receive $500,000.
Free garbage pickup for two years, and a freezing of fees for vehicle stickers and busines licences for Crestwood residents are also part of the agreement. Importantly, town officials will also hire an independent environmental consultant to certify the safety of Crestwood's drinking water for the next three years.
This lawsuit is just one of several filed against the town after a 2009 investigation by the Chicago Tribune revealed that village officials had been drawing water from a contaminated well, apparently to save money. According to the Tribune, the town kept piping polluted water to residents even after state environmental officials told Crestwood in the mid-1980s that cancer-causing chemicals had leaked into the well.
Several personal injury lawsuits are pending against the village, Mayor Robert Stranczek, his father and former Mayor Chester Stranczek, and Crestwood's former top water official. The three officials also face an ongoing federal criminal investigation, the Tribune reported today.
In the case settled this week, about 1,000 residents filed claims seeking reimbursement for a portion of the water bills they paid while contaminated water flowed out of their taps. As part of the deal, they will receive payments that range from $20,000 for a condo association to as little as $50 for one homeowner. (tribune.com)