CHICAGO — Thousands of residents in Little Village are one step closer to receiving part of a $12.25 million settlement after a redevelopment company imploded an old smokestack, causing harm to those who lived in the area.

The huge implosion happened back in April 2020. Nearly four years later, one of the residents who filed a class action lawsuit against Hilco Redevelopment — the company that imploded the old smokestack at the former Crawford Coal Fired Power Plant — said that while he’s pleased with the outcome, he’s more concerned about justice over the thought of money.

“Talking to people in the neighborhood it was a large boom sound and then a trembling like an earthquake,” said Juan Rangel.

Rangel was one of three people who filed a lawsuit against Hilco Redevelopment, who said the implosion was part of a redevelopment project.

Residents who lived or owned property in the following areas are eligible for the settlement:

  • 33rd Street & Kedzie Avenue
  • West to 33rd Street & Kilbourn Avenue
  • North to Kilbourn Avenue & Cermak Road
  • East to Cermak Road & Ogden Avenue
  • Northeast to Ogden Avenue & California
  • South to 26th Street & California Avenue
  • West to 26th Street & Sacramento Avenue
  • South to Sacramento Avenue & 31st Street
  • West to 31st Street & Kedzie Avenue
  • South to 33rd Street & Kedzie Avenue

Those who no longer live in Little Village are also still eligible to receive settlement money.

The claim deadline is set to end on Tuesday, March 26.

Click here for more information regarding the settlement claim. To file a claim, click here.

Watch Jewell Hillery‘s story in the video player above to learn more.