Cook Towns Hire Michael Del Galdo to Defend against Illinois Farmers Insurance Storms Suit

May 22, 2014

(Berwyn, IL) - To defend themselves against the high-profile Farmers Insurance lawsuit that have hit communities across Cook County over the spring 2013 thunder storms, nine suburbs have hired attorney Michael Del Galdo as a special counsel to bolster their legal firepower.

A class action lawsuit filed at the beginning of May in Cook County Circuit Court by Illinois Farmers Insurance Company, which is seeking "relief" on behalf of hundreds of people who suffered property damages from sewer backups during the April 17 and 18, 2013 storms, has surprised governments across the Chicago metropolitan region.

Named as defendants are the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Cook County and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Chicago, and close to 100 suburban communities and townships, including those towns primarily along the Des Plaines River and its tributaries.

Berwyn, Cicero, Melrose Park, Riverdale, Broadview, Chicago Heights, Hazel Crest, Markham & Steger have tapped Del Galdo, a long-time, local government-experienced attorney who represents multiple communities across Cook County, to defend them against charges that the towns are responsible for acts by "Mother Nature."

"Farmers Insurance couldn't sue Mother Nature to cover their costs; so, they chose to squeeze suburban communities and their taxpayers and shove their cost of doing business on them," said Del Galdo. "It's outrageous."

Citing the 2008 the Chicago Climate Action Plan, Farmers Insurance argues that local governments mismanaged their storm water systems when they knew the systems were undersized for increased rainfall driven by climate change. The company claims that the governments allegedly knew that they needed to increase their storm water system's capacity because of prior flooding.

Attorneys argue for the insurance companies that the various governmental entities breached their duty to safely maintain, operate and remedy defects in the storm and sanitary sewer systems, whether separate or combined, and in cases of MWRD, the systems in the tributaries for safely conveying stormwater within their territorial jurisdiction.

Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero welcomed Del Galdo to the town's legal team.

"We are thrilled to have Mike Del Galdo on board," said Lovero. "Berwyn is in good legal hands as we defend ourselves against this suit."

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