On April 9, United States District Court Judge John Z. Lee denied the City of Evanston’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Northern Illinois Gas Company and Commonwealth Edison Company in a lawsuit brought by the City against the utilities. The lawsuit alleged that the utilities were responsible for environmental contamination in the area of James Park.
At an April 24 status hearing in the case, the Court set a settlement conference for June 21. Under the Court’s order, the utilities were to send a settlement letter by May 31, and the City was to respond by June 7. The case was stayed until further order of the Court.
On June 25, the RoundTable asked City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz if the settlement conference took place, and if there was any progress toward settlement.
Mr. Bobkiewicz replied by email, “Settlement conference took place last Friday. City and utilities agreed to end case. Both sides cover their own costs. Staff will discuss next steps on remediation efforts at a City Council meeting in July or early August.”
In response to follow up questions, Mr. Bobkiewicz told the RoundTable that the City received no payment from the utilities in exchange for dismissing the case, and that the case will be dismissed “with prejudice.”
A dismissal with prejudice means the City is barred from pursuing in a subsequent case the claims that were alleged in the James Park litigation or that could have been raised in that litigation against the utilities.
The City has spent more than $8.1 million on the matter.