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COBINE,and RODGERJENNINGS, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
Case No. ~~--~ Jury Trial Demanded
SHELLOIL COMPANY,EQUILON ENTERPRISES, LLC dlbl a Shell Oil Products, US, a Corporation, CONOCOPHILLIPSCOMPANY,WRB REFININGLP, CONOCOPHILLIPS WRB PARTNERLLC, and CENOVUSGPCO LLC, Defendants.
) ) ) ) ) )
CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
Now come the Plaintiffs, Jeana Parka, Delbert R. Cobine, Janice A. Cobine, and Rodger Jennings, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, by their
counsel, and complaining LLC,
of the Defendants
a Shell Oil Products,
US; CONOCOPHILLIPSCOMPANY; WRB REFINING LP;
CONOCOPHILLIPSWRB PARTNERLLC; and CENOVUSGPeO LLC, for their cause of action state: INTRODUCTION 1. This is an action brought by Plaintiffs, owners of real property in the
Village of Roxana, Illinois ("Roxana" relief arising from contamination 2. 1,500 people,
or the "Village"),
seeking compensation caused by Defendants.
Roxana, located in Madison with 655 households,
County, Illinois, is a village of approximately residing in it. The Village
and 436 families
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encompasses approximately 6.8 square miles. A majority of the land in Roxana is taken up by the Wood River oil refinery, pollution from which is the subject of this action. The Wood River oil refinery, along with its associated pipelines, is referred to hereafter as the "Refinery." 3. The conduct complained of in this Complaint is the trespass onto
Plaintiffs' property of Defendants' benzene, volatile organic compounds, and other hydrocarbons. Defendants manufactured, stored, and transported benzene and other hydrocarbons at the Refinery and its associated pipelines from 1918 through present date. 4. Contamination of the groundwater has occurred as the result of releases
and spills of petroleum products from leaking pipes and storage tanks, transfer of product, equipment failures, and ruptures, as well as from the leaching of compounds from contaminated soils and sediments or infiltration from surface water
impoundments. The impact of on-site waste disposal activities has contributed to groundwater contamination.
Because of the extensive use of groundwater in the area including by the
operators of the Refinery,the vulnerable nature of the local groundwater resource, and the close proximity of wells to areas of contamination, drinking water in Roxana is potentially at risk homes through Moreover, volatile products in groundwater have penetrated into seepage, cracks, or drains, and result in high contaminant
concentrations in indoor air. 6. Surface water contamination has occurred as the result of spills and other
releases as well as through the planned discharge of treated and untreated wastewater to receiving streams, including the Cahokia Diversion Channel and the Mississippi River. 7. Soil contamination exists as the result of spills and leaks, movement of
contaminated soil as the result of surface runoff, and the settling-out of contaminated
Case No. _ Page 2 of 41
dusts. Spills and surface runoff may have contaminated soil accessible to the public. Contamination of the food chain is a possibility through surface deposition of airborne contaminants. 8. Releases have also resulted in airborne emissions as a result of direct
releases to the air, volatilization from contaminated soils and water, and entrairunent from contaminated soils as airborne dusts. concentrations. 9. Refinery's chlorinated A large number of chemicals are released to the air as a result of the day-to-day solvents, operations. These substances include aromatic solvents, aromatic and other Outdoor air has shown high contaminant
alcohols and ethers, hydrocarbons,
miscellaneous compounds. 10. The current operator of the Refinery continues to conduct its operation so
as to release these substances in excessive levels into the air of the Village of Roxana, exposing inhabitants, workers, and visitors to the nuisance and mechanical irritant effects of these chemicals. In some individuals, repeated exposure to these substances may contribute to dust overloading of the lungs. The very young, the elderly, or those with pre-existing respiratory conditions are at the greatest risk for this hazard.
Plaintiff [eana Parka is the owner of certain improved
located at 132 East 5th Street Roxana, Illinois. Plaintiff Parko purchased this property in or about 1999 and has resided at the address since that time. The home has an open drain in the basement and cinder block basement walls. 12. improved purchased Plaintiffs Delbert R. Cobine and Janice A. Cobine are the owners of certain real property located at 128 East 5th Street, Roxana, Illinois. Plaintiffs
this property in or about 1973 and have resided at the address since that
time. The home has an open drain in the basement and cinder block basement walls.
Case No. _ Page 3 of 41
Plaintiff Rodger jennings is the owner of certain improved
located at 124 East 7th Street, Roxana, Illinois. Plaintiff Jennings purchased this property in or about 2001 and uses it as an investment/rental property. The home has an open
drain in the basement and cinder block basement walls. 14. Defendant Shell Oil Company ("Shell Oil") is a corporation organized and
existing under the laws of the State of Delaware with its principal place of business in the State of Texas. At various times relevant to the claims asserted herein, Shell Oil
owned and/ or operated the Refinery (including its pipelines or certain of its pipelines). 15. Defendant Equilon Enterprises, LLC ("Equilon") d/b/ a Shell Oil Products is a company organized and existing under the laws of the State of in the State of Texas. Equilon is. a
US eSOPUS") Delaware
with its principal
place of business
subsidiary of Shell OiL At various times relevant to the claims asserted herein, Equilon owned and/ or operated the Refinery, under its own name or using the name Shell Oil Products US. At the present time, Equilon maintains an ownership interest in, and
continues to operate and control, the Refinery and/ or associated pipelines by way of easement in and around the Village. 16. Defendant ConocoPhillips Company CConoco") is a corporation
organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware with its principal place of business in the State of Texas. Conoco is the current operator of the Refinery. 17. Defendant WRB Refining LP is a limited partnership organized and
existing under the laws of the State of Delaware with its principal place of business in the State of Texas. WRB Refining LP is a joint venture entity owned by ConocoPhillips Company and Cenovus Energy Inc., of Alberta, Canada. owner of the Refinery and associated pipelines.
WRB Refining LP is a part-
1 WRB Refining LP is, was, or at times has also been known as WRB Refining LLC. On information and belief, WRB Refining LP is the denomination of the current joint venture and of the facility owner as described above and, to the extent WRB Refining LLC was at any time the denomination of the joint venture or the owner of the facility
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WRB Partner LLC is an entity organized and
existing under the laws of the State of Delaware with its principal place of business in the State of Texas. ConocoPhillips WRB Partner LLC is the Conoco entity which acts as a general partner and as managing partner in WRB Refining LP. 19. Defendants Conoeo and/or ConocoPhillips WRB Partner LLC are partWith respect to the Refinery, Conoco and/ or which
owner of the Refinery and the pipelines. ConocoPhillips
WRB Partner LLC is the successor to Toscopetro Corporation,
previously owned an interest in the Refinery and the pipelines. 20. Defendant Cenovus GPCO LLC is an entity organized and existing under
the laws of the State of Delaware, with its principal place of business in the State of Texas. Cenovus GPCO LLC is the Cenovus Energy Inc. entity which acts as a general partner in WRB Refining LP and holds a 50 percent ownership interest in the Refinery and associated pipelines. 21. Defendants WRB Refining LP, ConocoPhillips WRB Partner LLC and
Cenovus GPCO LLC are sometimes referred to herein, collectively, as "WRB." 22. Together, Shell Oil, Equilon, Conoco, and WRB are referred to as
"Defendants." From at least 1918 until present, Defendants at separate or overlapping times engaged Refinery.
processing! and the production
of oil and gas at the
History of the Roxana Refinery 23. According to Shell Oil company history, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group By
founded Roxana Petroleum in 1912 to buy oil product properties
1916, Royal Dutch Shell, through Roxana Petroleum, had decided to build a refinery to process and sell oil from Oklahoma.
described herein, WRB Refining LP is its successor in this regard.
Case No. ~~~~_
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Shell purchased a 172-acre tract of farmland in Madison County, Illinois,
for the site of its Refinery. The site was selected because of its prime location between the Mississippi River and railroad lines. (The Village and the Refinery are part of the American Bottoms, which is the eastern flood plain of the Mississippi River. The American Bottoms has a two percent slope toward the river and stretches up to nine miles between the river and a nearly continuous, 200-300foot high, 80-milelong bluff.) Oil would be transported to the Refinery from Oklahoma through one or more pipelines that were constructed simultaneously with the Refinery. 25. On April21~1917,Shell began building the Refinery!known then as "Shell
Oil's Wood River Manufacturing Complex." Oil began flowing through the pipelines on July 31, 1918. The Refinery began processing crude oil in September 1918. During the first year of operation, the Refinery's two units processed nearly 2.2 million barrels of Oklahoma crude, turning out 66 million gallons of fuel oil, 13 million gallons of kerosene and 11 million gallons of gasoline. construction. 26. Even before the Refinery began operations, the surrounding town was By 1919, a third unit was under
planned. A full page ad in the Edwardsville Intelligencer newspaper on August 16, 1917 depicted a plat of the Original Town of Roxana and encouraged investors to purchase real estate in IIRoxana: The New Refinery Town." The Village of Roxana, which was formed around the Refinery, was incorporated with the Illinois Secretary of State on May 10, 1921. 27. In the 19305,extensive experimentation with solvent extraction began. By
the late 1960s,the facility had the capacity to handle 200,000barrels per day. In 1990,the plant's capacity exceeded 285,000barrels per day! and produced gasoline!aviation fuel, home heating oil, liquid petroleum gas, aviation turbine fuel! industrial fuel oil, asphalt, solvents, lubricating oil, and chemicals including benzene! tertiary amylene, acetone, and elemental sulfur. In the 1990's! Shell Oil processing units included distillation,
Case No. _ Page 6 of 41
catalytic cracking, catalytic reforming, sulfur recovery and benzene extraction. 28. The Refinery is currently capable of refining 306,000barrels of crude oil
per day. The Refinery's wastewater is treated and the effluent is discharged to the Mississippi River. 29. The Refinery currently consists of several different plants located on a
number of tracts in the Village, indexed with the Madison County Treasurer under numerous parcel numbers.
It occupies area south of Madison St. to the west of Route
111 (the "Southwest Property"), an area running north of Madison St. up to Eighth Street on both sides of Route 111 (the "West Property" and the "Main Property," as subdivided by Route Ill! Old Edwardsville Road), and area east of Chaffer Ave running north of Eighth Street up to Tydeman Street (the "North Property"). The west boundary of the Refinery between Eighth Street and Rand Avenue adjoins the Village'S Public Works Yard, property owned and operated by the Village. The area west of the Refinery's North Property, between Eighth Street and Tydeman Street, is residentiaL This area includes streets, alleys, and rights-of-way that are owned by the Village. Roxana High School is located approximately two-tenths of a mile north of the northern boundary of the Refinery. 30. underground During the 94 years of oil refining, numerous large storage tanks and pipelines were installed, used and maintained by Defendants to
manufacture, store, and transport oil and oil byproducts. Some of these tanks are less than 150feet from the property lines of platted residential lots of the Village of Roxana. 31. Defendants have reaped enormous profits during these nearly one
hundred years of oil and gas processing at the Refinery. Oil byproducts were manufactured, used, stored and distributed by Defendants who intentionally, willfully and wantonly, and! or negligently failed to take appropriate measures to store and! or dispose safely of the toxic materials or maintain the tanks and pipelines which stored and carried said toxic materials.
Case No. _ Page 7of41
Benzene and Other Toxic Substances 32. Benzene, also sometimes called benzol, is an organic chemical compound constituent of crude petroleum. The Benzene is a colorless and highly Department of Health and Human
that is a natural
flammable liquid with a sweet smell.
Services (DHHS) classifies benzene as a human carcinogen. Long-term exposure to excessive levels of benzene in the air causes leukemia, a potentially fatal cancer of the blood-forming organs, in susceptible individuals. In particular, exposure to benzene leukaemia (AML &
can cause acute myeloid leukemia
or acute non-lymphocytic
33. Four chemical processes contribute to industrial benzene production: and steam
catalytic reforming, toluene hydrodealkylation,
cracking. According to the ATSDR Toxicological Profile for benzene, between 1978 and 1981, catalytic reformats accounted for approximately 44-50% of the total production. 34. production increased Until World War II, most benzene was produced as a by-product of coke (or "coke-oven light oil") in the steel industry. demand for benzene, However, in the 1950s, industry,
especially from the growing
necessitated the production of benzene from petroleum. Today, most benzene comes from the petrochemical industry, with only a small fraction being produced from coal. 35. especially supplanted Prior to the 1920s, benzene was frequently used as an industrial solvent, for degreasing metaL As its toxicity became obvious/ benzene was
by other solvents, especially toluene (methyl benzene), which has similar
physical properties but is not as carcinogenic. 36. As a gasoline additive, benzene increases the octane rating and reduces lead replaced benzene as the most widely-used
knocking. In the 1950's, tetraethyl
antiknock additive, but with the global phase-out of leaded gasoline, benzene has made a comeback as a gasoline additive in some nations. In the United States, concern over its
Case No. _ Page 8 of 41
negative health effects and the possibility of benzene's entering the groundwater have led to stringent regulation of gasoline's benzene content, with limits typically around 1%. 37. The petrochemical industry has been aware of the hazards of benzene and
benzene-containing products for more than eighty years. In a 1926 "Final Report of the Committee Chemical and Rubber Sections11
National Safety Council on Benzol, the
authors wrote: "The most characteristic pathological effect of benzol is perhaps its destructive influence upon the cells of the blood and the blood- forming organs." Thus, industry knew by the mid-to-late 1920s that benzene caused destruction of the bloodforming organs. 38. Shell Oil was aware of these hazards, in part through its research arm, the
Emeryville Research Center of Shell Development Company in Emeryville, California ("Shell Development"). Shell Oil operated Shell Development from 1926 until 1966. The major research arm of Shell Oil, Shell Development was one of a small number of large, pre-eminent private chemical research facilities on the West Coast. Among its other projects, Shell Development compiled research on the safety of benzene. 39. In 1943,Shell Development circulated a compendium of papers by various
authors, including papers entitled "Regarding Benzene including Noxious Gases and the Principles of Respiration Influencing Their Action" by Henderson and Haggard of the Chemical Catalog Company, Inc.; "Industrial Poisons in the United States" by Alice Hamilton, M.D.; ''The Essentials of Occupational Diseases" by Reed and Harcourt; and "Occupational Diseases - Diagnosis, Medicolegal Aspects and Treatment" byR.
Johnson, M.D. of the W.BSaunders Company, etc. This compendium clearly illustrated that Shell was following the scientific literature on benzene (benzol) in early 1943 and was aware of the association of benzene exposures with damage to the blood-forming organs at that time. 40.
For example, the Henderson and Haggard paper noted that "prolonged
_ Page 9 of 41
inhalation leads to subacute and chronic poisoning directed particularly against the hematopoietic system.II The paper further notes: "The effects of chronic benzene poisoning upon the blood are three: a decrease of red blood cells, resulting in profound anemia; a diminution of the substances concerned in clotting, resulting in hemorrhages; and a loss of white blood cells and of the substances concerned in defending the body against bacteria, resulting in liability to infection. There is considerable variation in susceptibility to chronic benzene poisoning; young persons of both sexes and particularly pregnant females show the greatest susceptibility.II The Reed and Harcourt paper noted: "In the case of chronic benzol poisoning in which small doses are absorbed over periods of days, weeks or months, the action on the tissue is still due to its solvent action, but in this chronic form the action is exerted chiefly on the marrow of the long bones disturbing the reticula-endothelial system therein contained. These lesions to the bone marrow lead to a destruction of the red blood cells, the white blood cells, and the blood platelets, together with a prolongation of both the coagulation and clotting of the blood. II 41. Other papers in the Shell Development compendium contained similar
language regarding the chronic effects of benzene on the blood-forming organs. 42. School to
A 1943report by Dr. M. H. Soley of the University of California Medical Shell Development advised that chronic benzene poisoning was
accompanied by the symptoms associated with the variable blood changes that may These blood changes may be listed as follows: Polycythemia or anemia,
Leucocytesis or Leucopenia, Leucemia or leucemoid blood pictures, Eosinophilia, Megalocytosis or microcytosis, .. .indeed, prolonged exposure at low concentrations may be the most dangerous.
Dr. Soley further advised that "[w]hile prolonged
exposure to any concentration of Benzene is dangerous, there is a marked variation of susceptibility of individuals so that some, for unknown reasons, are particularly resistant while others are quite susceptible.II
Case No. _ Page 10 of 41
In 1948, the American Petroleum Institute (API) stated that "it is generally
considered that the only absolutely safe concentration for benzene is zero." 44. In a 1950 internal Shell Development memo from C.H. Hines, M.D.
entitled "Certain Problems of Environmental
Cancer in the Petroleum Industry," Dr.
Hines advised Shell: "In only relatively few instances can the origin of environmental cancer be traced to contact with well defined chemical agents possessing established carcinogenic arrunes. .. qualities. Among such compounds
are arsenic, benzol, and aromatic Recognized Showing and the Suspected Organs or
in a table entitled in the
Affected," benzol and benzol derivatives were listed as recognized in the oil industry affected the blood-
and suspected carcinogenic agent encountered
forming organs. Thus, Shell had classified and was aware that benzol and benzol derivatives were recognized and suspected carcinogenic agents primarily affecting the blood forming organs. 45. Nonetheless; despite this knowledge, during the course of oil
storage and transportation,
Defendants have chosen to emphasize and
elevate their own profits over the interest of the health and safety of the residents of Roxana by intentionally, byproducts willfully or negligently failing to contain the oil and oil
within the storage tanks and pipelines associated with the Refinery so as
not to pose a risk of danger to the residents of Roxana. 46. Benzene is not the only dangerous chemical released by Defendants from
the Refinery. Other chemicals involved include ethylbenzene, toluene, and n-hexane. 47. Ethylbenzene is found naturally in oil. Exposure to high levels of
ethylbenzene in the air for short periods can cause eye and throat irritation. Exposure to higher levels can result in vertigo and dizziness. levels of ethylbenzene ethylbenzene
Case No. ~~~~_
In animals, exposure to very high of
can cause death; exposure to relatively low concentrations
for several days to weeks has been shown to result in potentially
Page 11 of 41
irreversible damage to the inner ear and hearing of animals. Such low-level exposure has also been shown to cause kidney damage in animals. An increase in kidney tumors
in rats and lung and liver tumors in mice were found after they were exposed to
ethylbenzene in air for two years. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (an expert group that is part of the World Health Organization) has determined that longterm exposure to ethylbenzene may cause cancer in humans. 48. Toluene is a clear, colorless liquid with a distinctive smell; its smell can be
detected at a concentration of 8 parts of toluene per million parts of air (ppm) and its taste in water can be detected at a concentration of between 0.04and 1 ppm. 49. A serious health concern is that toluene may have an effect on the brain.
Toluene can cause headaches and sleepiness, and can impair the ability to think clearly. This effect depends on the amount, the length of exposure, genetic susceptibility and age. Low to moderate, day-after-day concentrated exposure can cause tiredness, confusion, weakness, drunken-type actions, memory loss, nausea, and loss of appetite. These symptoms usually disappear when exposure is stopped. Some hearing and color vision loss may remain after long-term daily exposure to toluene. 50. N-Hexane is a chemical made from crude oil. Pure n-hexane is a colorless
liquid with a slightly disagreeable odor. It evaporates very easily into the air and dissolves only slightly in water. N-Hexane is highly flammable, and its vapors can be explosive. Breathing air containing high concentrations of n-hexane can cause nerve disorders. When rats are exposed to n-hexane in the air, they show signs of damage to their nervous systems very similar to those seen in people who became ill after workplace exposure to n-hexane. As in people, these effects in rats depend on the concentrations of n-hexane in air and how long exposure lasts. At very high levels of nhexane in air, signs of damage to sperm-forming cells in male rats have occurred. Damage to the lungs occurred in rabbits and mice. People have rarely been exposed to these high levels of n-hexane, so it is not known if these effectswould occur in people.
Case No. _ Page 12 of 41
The History of Toxic Substance Releases from the Refinery in Roxana 51. From 1918 to present, during the operation of the Refinery by Shell Oil,
and Equilon and their predecessors in interest, by Cenovus, and by Conoco and WRB and their predecessors in interest, there have been numerous leaks of the pipelines and tanks at the Refinery which contain benzene, volatile organic compounds hydrocarbons, which leaks have contaminated and continue and other the
Refinery and have migrated to and continue to migrate to property and waters located within the Village of Roxana. 52. Full information on all of the leaks, spills, and other. releases from the about
Refinery is not available and it may be impossible to gather much information releases from the earliest period of the Refinery's operations.
Data on tank and pipeline
leaks are reported from the northern portion of the refinery as far back as the mid1950s. This suggests on-going releases of benzene-hydrocarbon years. 53. Data that is available from the last 25 years show that Defendants have chemicals from products for over 50
been responsible for numerous leaks of benzene and other hazardous the Refinery and its pipelines into the water, land, and air in Roxana. 54.
In 1986, an unknown quantity of benzene spilled from one of Defendants'
pipelines in the extreme southwestern portion of the Village in a commercial! industrial area just west of the intersection of Rand and Highway 111 55. On December 29, 1987, 4,900 pounds of benzene were released from a
ruptured distillation unit pipe at the Refinery. 56. On February 16, 1989, 7,500 pounds of benzene, 2,000 pounds of hydrogen of methyl mercaptan were released from pressure release
sulfide, and 300 pounds
valves of a distilling unit at the Refinery. 57. On March 10, 1989, 30,000 pounds of benzene were released from a
ruptured pipe in the benzene extraction unit of the Refinery.
Case No. _ Page 13 of 41
On June 14, 1989,370 tons (7,000pounds per hour) of catalyst dust were
released during a 105-hour attempt to start-up catalytic cracking unit number 1 at the Refinery. The aluminum silicate catalyst is used to break longer-chain hydrocarbons into shorter-chain hydrocarbons and is contaminated by trace metals which are present in the petroleum. Tracemetal contaminants include nickel and vanadium. 59. From 1988 to 1989, there were approximately 100 releases of excessive
sulfur dioxide emissions from the sulfuric acid plant at the Refinery on various occasions. 60. On August 13-18,1989,64 tons of aluminum silicate catalyst was released
from the catalytic cracking unit at the Refinery. The release was a result of an out-ofservice pollution control device. 61. On November 18, 1989, an unknown amount of sulfur dioxide was
released as a result of a fire at the Sulfur Recovery Unit at the Refinery. 62. On December 4, 1989,3,700 pounds of hydrocarbons including hydrogen
sulfide and benzene were released into the air from a pressure release valve at the Saturates Gas Plant at the Refinery. 63. On December 7-8, 1989, 2,800pounds of hydrocarbons were released into
the air from the Saturates Gas Plant. 64. On December 11, 1989, 300 pounds of sulfur dioxide were released in a
fire at the Sulfur Recovery Unit at the Refinery. 65. On December 16, 1989, 294,000gallons of gasoline were spilled when a
transport pipeline at the Refinery ruptured. 66. On December 17, 1989, 4,000 pounds of hydrocarbons were released into
the air from the Saturates Gas Plant at the Refinery. 67. On December 21-22,1989,600 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 500pounds of
hydrogen sulfide were released into the air during equipment failure at the Sulfur Recovery Unit at the Refinery.
Case No. _
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On December 2t 1989,11,000pounds of hydrocarbons were released into
the air from a pressure release valve at the Saturates Gas Plant at the Refinery. 69. On January 30, 1990,SOD gallons of crude oil were spilled from a ruptured
10-inch oil pipeline at the Refinery. 70. On February 19, 1990, 672,000gallons of crude oil were released from a
ruptured pipeline at the Refinery. 71. On August 4,2006, light gas oil leaked or was spilled from the Refinery's
pipeline system near the intersection of Rand Avenue and Illinois Route 111. On August 9, 2006, gasoline was leaked or spilled from the Refinery's pipeline system near the site of the August 4 release. 72. There have been numerous and other releases and spills from the Refinery
and its pipelines. 73.
In addition, continuous releases from valves, storage tanks, loading docks,
surface water, and processes, including wastewater treatment, occur during day-to-day plant operations. 74. Defendants' releases and spills of petroleum products from leaking pipes
and storage tanks, transfer of product, equipment failures, and fires have contaminated and continue to contaminate the ground of the Village. 75. Defendants' releases of volatile organic compounds ("VOCs"), petroleum
hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, sulfur dioxide, and aluminum silicate catalyst have contaminated and continue to contaminate the air. 76. Defendants also engage in extensive groundwater pumping at the Ordinarily, any benzene in the groundwater would follow the This groundwater pumping, however! pulls
groundwater gradient to the west.
groundwater towards the Refinery pumping centers, back to the northeast and under the southern portion of the Village's residential area. Defendants' groundwater
pumping thus has spread the contaminants released from the Refinery in unnatural
Case No. _ Page 15 of 41
dispersion patterns and resulted in greater contamination otherwise have occurred through
in certain areas than would these chemicals.
natural flow of water containing
Defendants engage in this extensive groundwater of the Refinery's commercial operations. 77.
pumping at the Refinery in support
Since 1986, as part of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA
and the states
are required to collect data annually on releases and transfers of certain toxic chemicals from industrial facilities and make the data available to the public through the "Toxics Release Inventory" CTRI"). Certain facilities, including the Refinery, are required to
report releases annually to the TRI. In 1990, the Pollution Prevention Act expanded the scope of information that facilities must report. 78. The TRI identifies priority chemicals for which industries must estimate
the amount they release into the environment.
Releases of these priority chemicals are
estimated for air, water, land and off-site disposal. The amount released is estimated by direct reading or monitoring, mass balance calculations, published various equipment or processes, or best engineering judgment. 79. Defendants The TRIs for air releases reported at the Refinery show that since 1988, the emission factors for
releases of 13,249,271.86 pounds of volatile organic compounds This includes 3.8 million pounds of benzene alone. It also
into the air of the Village.
includes 2.9 million pounds of toluene, 1.5 million pounds of n-hexane, 998,000 pounds of cyclohexane, 934,000 pounds of ethylbenzene, 882,000 pounds of propylene, 467,000
pounds of ethylene, as well as reportable releases of 11 other chemicals. 80. The sheer number of releases of toxic chemicals into the environment in
the past 25 years suggests that Defendants failed to remedy systemic problems with
have overseen, allowed, and ignored or pipeline and Refinery operation and
Moreover, pursuant to a settlement with the United States government,
Shell Oil is required to monitor its pipelines and implement spill prevention programs
CaseNo. _ Page 16 of 41
on pipelines in seven states, including Illinois. Nonetheless, spills and releases of toxic chemicals, including spills and releases in Roxana, continue to persist. 81. discharges, Defendants had and have knowledge of all the foregoing releases,
and spills of benzene
and other toxic chemicals, and had and have such releases, discharges, and spills can migrate and
knowledge that, left unremediated, contaminate nearby properties. Testing and Testing Results 82.
Shell Oil and Equilon have hired an engineering firm, DRS Corporation and analysis of benzene and other toxic
("DRS")! to carry out an investigation
contaminants in the area of the Refinery. The investigation has been carried out with the cooperation of Defendant Conoco. The investigation has focused on measuring
concentrations of benzene and other contaminants in groundwater, soil, and soil vapor. Initially! the investigation focused on measurements at points either inside the Refinery perimeter, or generally in the area between the 1986 benzene spill and the western edge of the Refinery's North Property (sometimes referred to as the "west fenceline"). This
area includes the Village'S Public Works Yard, which is at the southern tip of the Village's residential area. 83. Initially, DRS concluded
that the available information
highest benzene concentrations extending between
generally in a band on the order of 200 feet wide This area generally
the 1986 release point and the refinery.
underlies the Village Public Works yard ... [and] [t]he core area of impact widens closer to the refinery! consistent with groundwater [Refinery] North and Main properties. flow toward pumping centers on the
Benzene concentrations in the core area have
been identified in the hundreds to thou.sands of ppm." 84. During the investigation, URS and Defendants systematically
downplayed or concealed the risk that residential properties, including those owned by Plaintiffs, were at risk.
When they made any public statements
at all, URS and
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Defendants emphasized, first, that the area of investigation was focused on the area between the 1986spill and the Refinery's west fenceline,an area south of the residential portion of the Village which is comprised primarily of the Village'SPublic Works Yard. DRS noted that the highest concentrations of benzene in groundwater were in a "wedge-shaped band" generally south of Eighth Street. When the investigation
expanded beyond this area, DRSand Defendants told the public that soil vapor results showed benzene levels to be very low or not detectable, and that it believed vapor migration to be limited. DRSindicated that the most likely source of benzene exposure
in the home would be from use of private water wells. 85.
The full extent of impact to the groundwater was unknown, however. In
2009, Shell Oil and Equilon expanded the investigation to include parts of the residential portion of the village, in the area generally bounded by Illinois Route 111 and the west fenceline. Some investigation inside the Refinery property was ongoing as well. 86. The expanded investigation collected and tested data from existing
groundwater profiling locations as well as from two new monitoring wells. In addition, URS installed 64 vapor-monitoring points at 16 vapor-monitoring locations (VMP-l through -16). The purpose of the vapor-monitoring points is to detect and measure soil vapors - that is, chemicals in the soil that vaporize into the air. 87. The results of URS's efforts were set out in a document known as the
Dissolved Phase Groundwater Investigation and P-60 Free Phase Product Delineation Report,
dated February 18, 2010 (hereafter, the "February 2010 DRS Report"). The February 2010 DRS Report assessed testing results for groundwater contamination, soil contamination, soil vapor contamination, and the presence of light, non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) product. (LNAPL refers to substances that are relatively insoluble in water and are less dense than water. LNAPLs, such as oil, tend to spread across the surface of the water table and form a layer on top of the water table.)
Case No. _
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DRS determined that two distinct groundwater plumes exist:
dissolved benzene plume located primarily beneath the Public Works Yard; and (b) a dissolved phase hydrocarbon plume located within the Refinery and extending west into the residential portion of the Village a short distance. DRSindicated that benzene concentrations in the contaminated area beneath the Public Works Yard had been identified in the hundreds to approximately 1,100parts per million (ppm). 89. With respect to soil contamination, the February 2010 DRS Report data
showed concentrations of benzene exceeding applicable criteria in soil samples at several locations outside the Refineryperimeter. 90. With respect to soil vapors, the February 2010DRSReport communicated
that there was no current risk from existing soil vapor concentrations, but identified specific areas for follow-up. This follow-up was to include testing from additional sampling points to be installed which would identify vapor issues in structures with basements and with subslab construction, with particular focus on the building near the northeast corner of the Public Works Yard, as well as in the residential portion of the· Village,between Third and Fourth Streets. 91. As of the February 2010 DRS Report, no LNAPL had been detected
outside of the Refinery perimeter within the Village. 92. Based on recommendations contained in the February 2010DRS Report to
more closely evaluate the potential for vapor intrusion near occupied structures, an additional four vapor monitoring points were installed, developed, and sampled at three new vapor monitoring locations (VMP-17through -19) in the Spring/Sununer 2010, and the results were documented in the Addendum
to February 2010 Report -
Supplemental Investigation Activities, dated September 20,2010.
In addition, in the fall of 2010,DRS installed additional monitoring wells
outside the perimeter of the Refinery property, in order to detect and measure groundwater contamination.
Case No. ~~~~~ Page 19 of 41
The monitoring wells and the vapor monitoring points show extensive
groundwater plumes of contaminants. 95. On November 30, 2010,DRSsubmitted its Soil Vapor Sampling Report for
the Third Quarter of 2010(hereafter, the "November 2010DRSReport"). The November 2010 DRS Report again found two distinct but commingled groundwater plumes, a dissolved phase benzene plume located primarily beneath the Public Works Yard and a dissolved phase hydrocarbon plume. This time, however, the November 2010 DRS Report also noted the existence of an apparent third plume: "In addition, the edge of a Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (LNAPL) plume has been observed in certain areas near the west fenceline within the confines of the WRR. The primary LNAPL plume is located further east in the refinery." 96. DRS indicates that the dissolved phase benzene plume appears to be
associated with the 1986 spill described above. According to the November 2010 DRS Report the path of the plume from this spill has been affected by Defendants' groundwater pumping which has caused an unnatural distribution of the benzene from the spill. As a result of the groundwater pumping, the benzene groundwater plume now sits under the Southern portion of the Village, including the Public Works Yard; it now extends between the 1986 benzene release location and the Refinery, with the area of impact widening closer to the Refinery. 97. As determined by DRS in 2010, the then-current contours of the benzene
groundwater plume were shown on the following map:
Page 20 of41
.,~- ~:;ti~~~~~~~~n:~~40~ • ,~- ~1~~'~~""~:':;:,.j
'II'tN ~ ~~m ~"\ II'~',~,...A
;;;;;e ..... ":;l'
Case No. ~~~~~_
Page 21 of 41
According to URS, releases of petroleum products at the Refinery have
also resulted in a dissolved phase groundwater plume which now lies beneath the Refinery and along the west fenceline, extending at some locations approximately 200 feet outside the Refinery perimeter beneath the eastern edge of the residential portion of the Village. 99. The second plume is primarily located further east within the perimeter of
the Refinery, though URShas determined that the edge of that plume extends across the west fenceline and into the residential portion of the Village. 100. Thus, at least two primary sources have caused the contamination URS
has observed: (a) benzene from the pipeline spill area south/southwest of Roxana; and (b) spills of petroleum products and/ or benzene from the Refinery to the east. Moreover, the contamination in the vicinity of the Public Works Yard appears to be coming both from the pipeline spill as well as from the Refinery's Main Property and/ or the southwest corner of the Refinery's North Property. 101. The November 2010 URS Report showed the levels of contamination
detected by the vapor monitoring points at that time. Benzene concentrations from locations within the Village ranged from an estimated 0.0079mg/ m3 (VMP-1-8.5)to 28 mg/m3 (VMP-4-12)in the upper samples «15 feet bgs). Benzene concentrations from the deeper samples (>15ft bgs) range from an estimated 0.013mg/ m3 (VMP-8-23.5)to an estimated 490 mg/m3 (VMP-4-23.5). he results of screening for samples collected in T the Village against residential screening criterion indicate that the vapors in the upper 15 feet were less than residential screening criterion (41 mg/m3). Four of the sample points with the soil vapor ports below 15 feet exceeded the residential screening criterion during this sampling event. Benzene concentrations from locations within the Public Works Yard ranged from 0.0086mg/m3 (VMP-17-5)to 52 mg/m3 (VMP-14-11.5) in the upper samples «15 feet bgs). Benzene concentrations from the deeper samples (>15 ft bgs) range from an estimated 0.019 mg/ m3 (VMP-I0-20) to 37,000 mg/m3
Case No. ~~~~~ Page 22 of 41
(V1'v1P-14-20). The results of screening for samples collected in the Public Works Yard indicate that the vapor concentrations in the upper 15 feet were less than
commercial/ industrial Two of the sample
screening criterion (300 mg! m3) during this sampling event. points with the soil vapor ports below 15 feet exceeded the
commercial/ industrial screening criterion. 102. Subsequent quarterly reports for groundwater that concentrations and soil vapor testing in exceed the limits
the Village test promulgated
by the Illinois Pollution Control Board for residential limits in numerous
locations. Some of these levels in the residential area of the Village of Roxana are more than two thousand times the maximum levels (or 200,000 percent of those limits) for benzene as promulgated 103. by the illinois Pollution Control Board. monitoring report for the first quarter of 2011,
released April 14, 2011, disclosed that DRS had detected LNAPL in testing at the intersection of 3rd Street and Chaffer Street. This, apparently, was the first time LNAPL had been detected outside the Refinery perimeter. the same quarterly Groundwater testing recounted in
report also disclosed that DRS detected benzene concentrations
which exceeded the screening criterion in the "M\IV-6 well cluster," a location to the south of the Public Works Yard, where benzene had not previously been detected. 104. Soil vapor sampling for the first quarter of 2011, released in June 2011,
detected benzene concentrations within the Public Works Yard more than 14,000 times the allowable limit. 105. Test results from groundwater monitoring wells for the second quarter of on the site of the Public
2011, released July 15, 2011, showed benzene contamination
Works Yard in amounts up to 26,000 times the allowable limit (or 2.6 million percent) established groundwater by the Illinois Pollution Control Board. monitoring wells demonstrated The results also disclosed that concentrations in excess of
applicable screening criteria in wells denominated
Case No. ~~~~_
MW-l, MW-3, and MW-5. Benzene
Page 23 of 41
had not previously been detected in monitoring well MW-1 (between Sixth and Seventh Streets, in the residential portion of the Village); benzene concentrations previously detected in wells MW-3 and MW-5 (south of Seventh Street, along Route 111)had been below applicable screening criteria. 106. The test results from DRS also show benzene contamination at the site of
the alleys between Second and Third Streets, between Third and Fourth Streets, between Fourth and Fifth Streets, between Fifth and Sixth Streets, between Sixth and Seventh Streets, and between Seventh and Eighth Streets. 107. In 2011, testing of sub-slab air samples at several homes showed
significant concentrations of benzene or other hydrocarbon vapors. 108. By July 2011, when DRS released results for testing done in the second
quarter of 2011, soil vapor testing for benzene exceeded the residential screening criterion at some depths below ground surface for almost every vapor monitoring point tested, including points throughout the residential portion of the Village. DRSdepicted the benzene distribution in soil vapor at 38 feet bgs thusly:
Page 24 of 41
~ •• e __
nos: .:00.. ,:'<\11
The existence of the groundwater
plumes was not known to the Plaintiffs,
nor could it have been known through the exercise of reasonable diligence, prior to the release of the DRS reports outlined above. DRS is still in the process of delineating the exact contours of the plumes, particularly to the north. Further, the plumes are, by
definition, fluid and dynamic in nature, as is evidenced by (a) their susceptibility to Defendants' groundwater pumping, referenced in the DRS reports; (b) the fact that the to have migrated onto Village property, in the residential
LNAPL plume appears
portion of the Village, outside the Refinery's perimeter for the first time in early 2011; (c) the presence, as of 2Q2011, of benzene in a concentration exceeding applicable
criteria at well MW-l, where it had not previously been detected; and (d) the presence, as of 2Q201t of benzene in concentrations exceeding applicable criteria at wells MW-3 and MW-5, where it had previously been measured below the applicable screening criteria. lID. known The contamination detected by the vapor monitoring points also were not the exercise of
to the Plaintiffs, nor could they have been known through
reasonable diligence, prior to the release of the DRS reports outlined above, when DRS reported the results of the vapor monitoring testing. The Effects of Contamination
or more privately
parcels of property are contaminated caused by Defendants.
with benzene, or other petroleum byproducts,
Plaintiffs' properties as described herein are within this affected area and
are contaminated. 113. When high concentrations of hydrocarbon vapors are found in the soils
below a home, there is a potential for vapor intrusion and subsequent safety and health hazards, including an increased risk of contracting serious latent diseases including,
among others, the cancers, blood diseases, and other ailments describe above.
Case No. _ Page 26 of 41
The contamination has reduced or destroyed the value of these properties. The contamination of these properties has caused great economic loss to
Plaintiffs and the other owners of these properties. 116. The contamination has caused a reasonable fear in residents of the affected
properties of developing serious latent diseases, including the cancers, blood diseases, and other ailments described above. 117. around Contamination of the groundwater, soil, and soil vapors below and
will likely remain for years to come, with the Plaintiffs
suffering the effects of that contamination. CLASS ALLEGATIONS 118. Plaintiffs bring this action for themselves individually and as
of a class of all other similarly situated plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs intend to
seek certification of two classes: (a) an Owner-Occupant Class; and (b) a Non-Resident Property Owner Class. 119. Plaintiffs initially describe the Owner-Occupant Class as:
All persons who own and reside in real property within the portion of the Village of Roxana, Illinois, that has been contaminated with benzene or other hydrocarbons released, discharged, or spilled from the Refinery. Plaintiffs expect to further define the specific portion of the Village of Roxana that is affected prior to seeking class certification. 120. Plaintiffs initially describe the Non-Resident Property Owner Class as:
All persons who own real property within the portion of the Village of Roxana, Illinois, that has been contaminated with benzene or other hydrocarbons released, discharged, or spilled from the Refinery and do not reside on that property. Plaintiffs expect to further define the specific portion of the Village of Roxana that is affected prior to seeking class certification. 121.
Excluded from the classes above are Defendants and any of their officers
Page 27of 41
or directors and immediate families, the Court and its immediate family, the Village of Roxana itself, and any other individuals who have brought individual lawsuits arising from the same allegations against the Defendants. 122. Plaintiffs reserve the right to amend or modify the class definitions
and/ or to move for certification of a class or classes defined differently than set forth above depending on the facts or law as discovered in this action. 123. Each of the proposed classes is sufficiently numerous that joinder of all Plaintiffs do not know the exact size of the
members of the class is impracticable.
classes because such information requires discovery necessary to identify the scope and extent of the contamination at issue. The exact number and identity of all class
members may be ascertained by appropriate discovery, but it is Plaintiffs' belief that the number is in the hundreds. Class members may be notified of the pending action by
email, mail, and by publication as necessary. 124. There are questions of fact and law common to the class(es), which over questions affecting only individual members.
common questions predominate
Those common questions include, but are not limited to, the following: a. "Whether Defendants released, discharged, hydrocarbons or spilled benzene or other the
during the process of operating the Refinery and/or
handling, storage or transport of said chemicals; b. "Whether Defendants' conduct in the refining, manufacture, handling,
transport or storage of oil bypro ducts resulting in the release, discharge, or spilling of benzene or other hydrocarbons was negligent; c. Whether Defendants had knowledge contamination properties; d. Whether Defendants' failure to remediate any release, discharge, or which could migrate of the existence of underground to, and contaminate, Plaintiffs'
spilling of benzene or other hydrocarbons was negligent;
Case No. ~~ __ ~ Page 28 of 41
or other hydrocarbons,
in the form of plumes
otherwise, released, discharged, or spilled by Defendants have trespassed on or contaminated Plaintiffs' properties; f. Whether Defendants' groundwater pumping has created an unnatural
dispersion or distribution of underground
benzene and! or hydrocarbon
plumes resulting in contamination of Plaintiffs' properties; g. Identification of the precise area of impact of the contamination caused by Defendants; h. Identification of the date range(s) of contamination caused by Defendants;
Whether a medical monitoring regime for persons who reside in affected portions of the community is reasonably necessary according to
contemporary scientific principles. 125. The claims of the representative Plaintiffs are typical of the claims of the
members of the classes. Plaintiffs, like all other members of the Classes, have sustained damages arising from Defendants' conduct, as alleged herein. The representative
Plaintiffs and the members of the classes were and are similarly or identically harmed by the same unlawful conduct engaged in by Defendants. 126. Plaintiffs can and will fairly and adequately represent the interests of the
classes and have no interests that conflict with or are antagonistic to the interests of the class. Plaintiffs have retained attorneys who are highly skilled, competent, and
experienced in complex and class action litigation, and who will vigorously assert the claims on behalf of the class members. classes. 127. The class action is an appropriate method for the fair and efficient No conflict exists between Plaintiffs and the
adjudication of this controversy given the following: a. Common
Case No. _
questions of fact and law predominate
over any individual
Page 29 of 41
questions that may arise, such that the class action mechanism is superior to other available means for the fair and efficient adjudication dispute; b. There will be enormous litigating economies to the Court and the parties in of this
the common issues in a class action instead of in multiple
individual claims; c. Class treatment is required for optimal resolution of this matter and for limiting the court-awarded members; d. Despite the relatively small size of individual class members' claims, their aggregate volume, coupled with the economies of scale in litigating reasonable legal expenses incurred by class
similar claims on a corrunon basis, will enable this case to be litigated as a class action on a cost-effective basis, especially when compared with the cost of individual litigation; and e. The trial of this case as a class action will be fair and efficient because the questions of law and fact which are common to the Plaintiff Class
predominate over any individual issues that may arise. CLAIMS FOR RELIEF
Negligence 128. Plaintiffs repeat and re-allege each and every allegation set forth
paragraphs 1-127 as if fully set forth herein. 129. Defendants owed and owe a duty to use reasonable care to avoid causing
injury to others in the operation of the Refinery, and in the handling, storage, and transport of benzene and other hydrocarbons, and in the remediation of spills for which Defendants are responsible. 130.
Defendants owed this duty to Plaintiffs and to the members of the classes.
Page 30 of 41
Based on the proximity of Plaintiffs' property to the Refinery it was
reasonably foreseeable that Plaintiffs could be injured through the release, discharge, or spilling of such chemicals from the Refinery, and/ or from the failure to remediate spills for which Defendants are responsible. 132. Defendants breached this duty to Plaintiffs by acts and/ or orrussrons
induding the following: a. Negligent operation of the Refinery in a manner that permitted releases, discharges, or spills of benzene or other hydrocarbons; b. Negligent handling, storage, and/or transportation of benzene or other hydrocarbons in a manner that permitted releases, discharges, or spills of benzene or other hydrocarbons; c. Negligent failure to maintain in safe and proper working order the various components of the Refinery, including but not limited to the transport pipelines, such that a pipeline burst and allowed the release, spill, or discharge of benzene or other hydrocarbons; d. Negligent failure to remediate the subsurface release of benzene or other hydrocarbons and allowing the same to remain underground where it reached the groundwater and was able to migrate to and contaminate Plaintiffs' properties, despite knowledge of the foregoing releases, spills, or discharges of benzene or other hydrocarbons; e. Negligent groundwater pumping on the Refinery property in a manner that caused the underground benzene or hydrocarbon contamination to move in an unnatural dispersion or distribution pattern and contaminate Plaintiffs' properties; and/ or f. Other negligent acts and/ or omissions. 133. The foregoing negligent acts and/ or omissions by Defendants are the
proximate cause of injuries suffered by Plaintiffs.
Case No. _ Page 31 of 41
Plaintiffs and members of the classes have been injured by Defendants' as described above. Their injuries include damage to the value of the
affected property, damage to the use and enjoyment of the affected property, economic loss, and reasonable fear of developing cancer and other latent diseases. Wherefore, Plaintiffs pray this Court certify the Owner-Occupant Class and the N on- Resident Property Owner Class described herein, and enter judgment favor and against Defendants, jointly and severally, to award compensatory restorative bringing damages in their and/ or in
in an amount in excess of $50,000.00, plus costs incurred
this suit, and grant such other and further relief as this Court deems
Trespass 135. Plaintiffs repeat and re-allege each and every allegation set forth in
paragraphs 1 through 134 as if fully set forth herein. 136. Defendants had and have a duty to use reasonable care in their operation handling, maintenance, storage and
of the Refinery, including in the manufacture,
transport of benzene and other toxic chemicals, to prevent the spill, discharge, leak, or other escape of benzene and other toxic chemicals (or later remediate such spills) and to prevent same from contaminating the property of others (or later remediate such
contamination), including that of Plaintiffs and the members of the classes. 137. Defendants breached the aforesaid duty, failing to use reasonable care to
ensure that benzene and other toxic chemicals would not be spilled, discharged, leaked, or otherwise escape during operation of the Refinery. 138. Defendants' failure to take steps to ensure that toxic chemicals, including
benzene, from the Refinery would not trespass onto the property of the Plaintiffs and the members of the classes, was wrongful. 139.
As a direct and proximate result of Defendants' intentional, willful and
Page 32 of 41
wanton, or negligent conduct, toxic chemicals from the Refinery, including benzene, have contaminated and continue to contaminate property owned by the Plaintiffs. 140. . Each time toxic chemicals found and continue to find their way onto Plaintiffs' property a separate trespass occurred or occurs. 141. The toxic chemicals that trespass and have trespassed into the
groundwater remain and have remained there, so that the ongoing contamination of the groundwater is the result both of trespasses that occurred during the Refinery's many toxic substance releases including, but not limited to, those described above, as well as during new trespasses continuing to occur now and in the future. Damages from
trespasses both historical and ongoing continue to accrue and will continue to accrue for many years to come, independent of any fresh trespasses that may occur. 142. Defendants I ongoing trespasses on the groundwater and onto Plaintiffs'
property are intentional, willful and wanton, and/ or negligent, and wrongful. 143. The trespasses on Plaintiffs' property have interfered with the Plaintiffs'
use of their property, including by causing a diminution of value to that property and by causing reasonable fear of developing cancer and other latent diseases. 144. The trespasses on Plaintiffs' property have caused economic loss to
Plaintiffs, including through reducing or destroying the value of property. Wherefore, Plaintiffs pray this Court certify the Owner-Occupant Class and the Non-Resident Property Owner Class described herein, and enter judgment in their favor and against Defendants, jointly and severally, to award compensatory and/ or restorative damages in an amount in excess of $50,000.00,plus costs incurred in bringing this suit, and to grant such other and further relief as this Court deems appropriate.
Public Nuisance 145.
Plaintiffs repeat and re-allege each and every allegation set forth
Page 33 of 41
paragraphs 1 through 144as if fully set forth herein. 146. The residents of and visitors to the Village of Roxana have a public right
to the use of the Village's streets, alleys, and other premises for recreational and commercial purposes. The residents of and visitors to the Village of Roxana also have other rights to public health and public safety. 147. By continuing to allow spills, discharges, leaks, or other escapes of
benzene and other toxic contaminants into the Village, Defendants have substantially and unreasonably interfered with these rights of the general public. 148. Because the contaminants remain in the groundwater, the damages from
the nuisance are ongoing, continue to accrue, and will continue to accrue for many years to come, independent of whether the nuisance itself continues. 149. As property owners and -- in the case of members of the Owner-Occupant
Class -- residents, of property that has been contaminated by Defendants' benzene and other toxic chemicals, Plaintiffs have suffered a special and particular injury distinct from that suffered by the public at large. 150. Plaintiffs' injuries include diminution of value of their property, economic
losses, and reasonable fear of developing cancer and other latent diseases. 151. The injury suffered by Plaintiffs is fairly traceable to Defendants' conduct,
as more specifically described above. 152. The injuries described herein to Plaintiffs from Defendants' nuisance were
proximately caused by Defendants' conduct and were the direct and foreseeable consequence of Defendants' failure properly to manufacture, handle, maintain, store and transport the benzene and other toxic chemicals at the Refinery. Wherefore, Plaintiffs pray this Court certify the Owner-Occupant Class and the Non-Resident Property Owner Class described herein, and enter judgment in their favor and against Defendants, jointly and severally, to award compensatory and/ or restorative damages in an amount in excess of $50,000.00, plus costs incurred in
Case No. _ Page 34 of 41
this suit, and to grant such other and further
relief as this Court deems
Private Nuisance 153. Plaintiffs repeat and re-allege each and every allegation set forth
paragraphs 1 through 152 as if fully set forth herein. 154. spilled, Plaintiffs' Benzene and other toxic chemicals continue to, and have in the past, leaked or otherwise and the property escaped from the Refinery and invaded of the classes, creating a
of the members
physically offensive nuisance. 155. The invasions of Plaintiffs' property are the direct and proximate result of
Defendants' intentional, willful and wanton, or negligent conduct in failing to prevent (or later to remediate) the spill, discharge, leak, or other escape of benzene and other toxic chemicals and to prevent same from contaminating the property of others (or later to remediate such contamination), including that of the Plaintiffs. 156. The invasions of Plaintiffs' property are substantial inasmuch as the
benzene or other chemical contamination
is extensive and, at various points, many as promulgated by the
times greater than the allowable limits for such contamination Illinois Pollution Control Board. 157.
The invasions of the Plaintiffs' property are unreasonable inasmuch as the
reach and extent of the damage done to Plaintiffs as measured against any utility (or, more accurately, against the total lack of utility) in the nuisance weighs in favor of Plaintiffs' interests. ·158. Because the contaminants remain in the groundwater, the damages from
the nuisance are ongoing, continue to accrue, and will continue to accrue for many years to come, independent of whether the nuisance itself continues. 159.
Case No. ~~~~~
Plaintiffs and the members of the classes have suffered injury as a result of
Page 35 of 41
nuisance, including diminution
of value of their property, economic losses,
and reasonable fear of developing cancer and other latent diseases. Wherefore, Plaintiffs pray this Court certify the Owner-Occupant Non-Resident Property Owner Class described Class and the in their and/or in
herein, and enter judgment
favor and against Defendants, restorative bringing damages
jointly and severally, to award compensatory
in an amount
in excess of $50,000.001 plus costs incurred
this suit, and to grant such other and further
relief as this Court deems
Unjust Enrichment 160. paragraphs 161. Plaintiffs repeat and re-allege each and every allegation set forth
1 through 159 as if fully set forth herein. During the many years when Defendants Plaintiffs' were property and property profits contaminated belonging from their the Village of of the at the of
Roxana, including classes, Defendants
to members operations
Refinery, including their manufacture, benzene and other toxic chemicals. 162. The operations conducted
storage and transport
at the Refinery can be performed
in a manner
that will not cause harm to nearby property and health of nearby residents. 163. consequences Plaintiffs and the members of Defendants' of the classes have suffered the adverse
pollution, including reduced property value, interference
with the rights of public health and public' safety, and other effects of the pollution proxima tel y flowing from contamination 164. enrichment choose In furtherance from operation of Plaintiffs' property. of their own profits and
of and to the great benefit
of the Refinery, Defendants have chosen and continue to resources for the implementation of proper
not to allocate the necessary technology, improvements,
and processes to ensure their operations would
Page 36 of 41
Case No. ~~~~~
not and will not cause damage to others. Additionally, Defendants have chosen and continue to choose not to allocate the necessary resources to perform the requisite maintenance and inspections to prevent or discover releases of the toxic chemicals used in the operations at the Refinery. Defendants also have chosen and continue to choose not to allocate the resources necessary to remediate any and all known spills,
discharges, leaks, or other escapes of benzene and other toxic chemicals or to remediate contamination caused to the property of others, including that of the Plaintiffs. 165. The adverse consequences suffered by Plaintiffs and the members of the
classes are related to the enrichment of Defendants, as Defendants chose to maximize their own enrichment in lieu of protecting against damage they might cause or
remediating damage they already have caused. 166. intentional, Defendants owed and owe a duty to adjacent landowners to refrain from negligent, or willful and wanton conduct that causes damage to
neighboring property and jeopardizes the health of others. 167. Defendants violated the common law maxim of sic utere tuo ut alienum
non laedas" (so use your own as not to injure another's property) by their intentional,
willful and wanton, or negligent conduct that caused toxic chemicals to migrate from their property and contaminate the properties surrounding the Refinery. 168. There was and is no justification for Defendants' conduct, for Defendants'
failure to remediate the damage they have caused, or for Defendants! decision to pursue profits and enrichment at the expense of the injury caused to the Plaintiffs. 169. The damage caused to Plaintiffs' property is horrific and will not be
adequately compensated by the ordinary measure of damage to real property. 170. The difference in the value of this real property in its pristine condition
and its value when contaminated by toxic chemicals, when measured against the vastly disproportionate overall harm caused and the immense profits realized by the
Defendants at the expense of the Plaintiffs, renders any remedy at law inadequate to
Case No. ~_~_~ Page 37 of 41
right this wrong. 171. The deliberate business decisions made by Defendants described herein operations in the form of
have forced the Plaintiffs to incur the costs of Defendants' toxic chemical pollution. 172. The immense profits and wealth acquired
by the Defendants
expense of contaminating
the Plaintiffs' property reflect an unjust enrichment which
has inured to the great benefit of Defendants. 173. In fairness and equity, Defendants should disgorge the profits by which
they have been enriched at the Plaintiffs' expense. Wherefore, Plaintiffs pray this Court certify the Owner-Occupant Non-Resident Class and the in their
Property Owner Class described herein, and enter judgment
favor and against Defendants, jointly and severally, to award the equitable remedy of disgorgement of Defendants' unjust enrichment, in an amount in excess of $50,000.00,
plus costs incurred in bringing this suit, and to grant such other and further relief as this Court deems appropriate.
Medical Monitoring 174. Plaintiffs repeat and re-allege each and every allegation set forth in
paragraphs 1 through 173 as if fully set forth herein. 175. Plaintiffs seek the creation of a medical monitoring program for the
benefit of the Owner-Occupant Class to be funded, jointly and severally, by Defendants and overseen or supervised by the Court or by the Court's designee. 176. As a result of the contamination described in this complaint, the Ownerof benzene and other
Occupant Class has been exposed to greater than norrnallevels hydrocarbons. 177. Benzene and the other hydrocarbons
described in this complaint
substances, exposure to which can result in serious latent diseases
_ Page 38 of 41
including cancers, blood diseases, and other ailments described in this complaint and . otherwise. 178. The exposure of the members of the Owner-Occupant Class to these
harmful chemicals is due to the negligence of Defendants, as more fully described above. 179. As a proximate result of their exposure to these harmful chemicals, the Class has a significantly increased risk of contracting a serious latent cancers, blood diseases, and other ailments described in this
complaint and otherwise. 180. Monitoring procedures exist which can make early detection of many
such diseases and ailments possible. 181. Such monitoring procedures differ from medical procedures normally
recommended in the absence of exposure to these chemicals. 182. contemporary Such a monitoring regime is reasonably necessary
scientific principles and is, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty,
necessary in order to diagnose properly the warning signs of any latent disease. 183. The Owner-Occupant Class is entitled to creation of this monitoring
regime in order to facilitate testing, screening, and treatment protocols for members of this class, along with all costs and attorneys' fees incurred herein. Wherefore, Plaintiffs pray this Court certify the Owner-Occupant Class described herein, and enter judgment in favor of that Class and against Defendants, jointly and severally, to create a medical monitoring program for the benefit of the Owner-
Page 39 of 41
Occupant Class, plus costs incurred in bringing this suit, reasonable attorneys' fees, and such other and further relief as this Court deems appropriate. Dated: April 16, 2012 Respectfully submitted,
Derek Y. Brandt #6228895 email@example.com G. Michael Stewart #6230339 firstname.lastname@example.org Jo Anna Pollock #6273491 email@example.com
SIMMONS BROWDER GIANARIS ANGELIDES BARNERDLLC
One Court Street Alton, Illinois 62002 618-259-2222 (Phone) 618-259-2251 (Fax)
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiffs demand trial by jury for all causes herein so triable. Dated: April 16, 2012 Respectfully submitted,
Derek Y. Brandt #6228895 firstname.lastname@example.org G. Michael Stewart #6230339 email@example.com Jo Anna Pollock #6273491 firstname.lastname@example.org
SIMMONS BROINDER GIANARIS ANGELIDES
One Court Street Alton, Illinois 62002 618-259-2222 (Phone) 618-259-2251 (Fax)
Case No. _~~~_ Page 40 of 41
Melissa K. Sims #6231297 email@example.com
K. SIMS LAW OFFICE
1611 Fifth Street Peru, Illinois 61356 815-224-2030 (Phone) 815-224-2900 (Fax) Paul J. Hanly, Jr.* firstname.lastname@example.org Jayne Conroy* email@example.com Andrea Bierstein* firstname.lastname@example.org
HANLY CONROY BIERSTEIN SHERIDAN FISHER
& HAYES LLP
112 Madison Avenue New York, New York 10016 212-784-6400 (Phone) 212-784-6420 (Fax) * Pro hac vice application to be submitted
Case No. ~
Page 41 of 41
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