Managing an Asbestos Investigation

  • Client: Building owner
  • Date: Summer 2008
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois


Schiff Hardin assisted the owner of a 22-story residential apartment building in Chicago in successfully responding to an order by state officials to stop renovation work and evacuate the building due to an alleged asbestos release.

The Illinois Department of Public Health issued an immediate evacuation order to the building owner in response to a plumbing subcontractor's inadvertent disturbance of pipe insulation containing asbestos. The Illinois Department of Public Health along with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency then filed a complaint in state court seeking penalties for alleged violations of state and local requirements. The complaint sought damages in the seven-figure range.

Schiff Hardin assisted the building owner in developing and implementing the strategy for the asbestos investigation and abatement. Our attorneys worked with the management of the building, the remediation contractor and the environmental consultant to assess and manage human health risks and compliance with state and local asbestos abatement requirements. We also prepared several public statements for the building owner, and negotiated a favorable settlement with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.