Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

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

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

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