Suffredin- Changing County Government  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.

Cook County, others settle lawsuits about 2003 fire

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Southtown Star
by Steve Patterson

In less than a week, a jury is set to be seated to determine whose negligence contributed to six deaths and 16 injuries in an October 2003 fire at a Cook County government building in Chicago's Loop.

On Tuesday, six of the defendants, including Cook County and five companies, opted to settle the lawsuits, paying $26 million into a fund that ultimately will be shared by 24 victims or their survivors.

But there still are three more entities, including the city of Chicago, proceeding in what could be a two- to three-month trial.

"We are in active negotiations with all of them to see if a global settlement can be achieved," victims' attorney Robert Clifford said, adding he doesn't have much hope it will happen before Monday.

At issue are coverage disputes among insurance companies about what percentage of liability each of them has in the case, something Clifford called "a lot of finger-pointing."

"It's kind of sad that families get involved in intermural squabbling between insurers," he said.

Cook County agreed Tuesday to pay $9 million through its insurer toward the settlement, while Aargus Security Systems and BGK Security Services agreed to pay a total of $11 million.

Another $6 million will be paid by firms involved in the design or construction of the Cook County Administration Building, 69 W. Washington St., Clifford said.

Settlements were presented in court Tuesday as attorneys began arguing about final motions before proceeding to trial.

It's expected to be an emotional trial that also threatens to prove embarrassing to the city's emergency responders.

Victims said they were ordered to evacuate the towering building, home to multiple county offices, but they found themselves trapped in smoke-filled stairwells because stairway doors locked behind them.

In addition to communication problems, firefighters allegedly waited until the fire was out before doing a stairwell search - leaving a 90-minute lag between the time firefighters arrived and the time victims were found.

Recent Headlines

City Club of Chicago: Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi
Friday, February 22, 2019
WGN Radio Chicago

Cook County Board approves $1.5 million settlement in 2013 jail beating case
Friday, February 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County paid more than $1.23 million in workerís comp benefits in January
Friday, February 22, 2019
Chicago City Wire

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart: ďThis has been a bipartisan disaster.Ē
Thursday, February 21, 2019
WGN Chicago

EDITORIAL: Donít bungle MWRDís plan for an independent inspector general
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart Pivots To Podcasting To Fight Opioid Abuse
Thursday, February 21, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County board votes to permanently dismantle gang database
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Body found in vehicle at Cook County Forest Preserve near Hoffman Estates
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Daily Herald

Local legislators tout efforts to help those facing mental health issues
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Pioneer Press

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Monday, February 18, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

EDITORIAL: We could have taken Gary Martinís gun away
Monday, February 18, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Hours before Aurora mass shooting, former mayors met in Chicago to discuss strategies to reduce gun violence
Friday, February 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.