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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Farmers Insurance Sues 100's of Municipalities For Flooding Claims

Update 6/3/2014:  Farmers voluntarily dismissed its Cook County lawsuit today and it appears it may be dismissing all of its lawsuits.  

On April 17, 2014, Farmers Insurance filed class action lawsuits against nearly 100 municipalities, townships, and other governmental entities in the Cook County, Illinois area seeking to recover millions of dollars paid in claims the insurance company paid out after the heavy rains on April 18, 2013 and April 19, 2013. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of insurers and property owners.

The first count in the complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court alleges that the municipalities negligently maintained their storm water systems by failing to utilize temporary storm water protection systems. The second count alleges a failure to remedy a known dangerous condition where the storm water invasions had occurred before. The third count states that the plaintiffs were subject to an unlawful taking where the local governments had appropriated the property of others for use as retention basins, detention basins, or other storage structures.

Citing the 2008 adoption of the Chicago Climate Action Plan, the dominant argument of the complaint is that local governments mismanaged their storm water systems when they knew the systems were undersized for increased rainfall brought about by climate change, and that the governments allegedly knew that that they needed to increase their storm water system’s capacity because of prior flooding incidents and investigations. 

We will provide updates on the status of this litigation, including any responses filed by the defendant municipalities and other governmental entities.

You can find the 143-page complaint here.  

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf and Caitlyn Sharrow, Ancel Glink


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