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Lawsuit Puts Climate Change Preparation Onus On Cities

A class-action lawsuit filed by Farmers Insurance Co. against the city of Chicago raises questions on municipal responsibility to prepare against 'foreseeable risk.'
May 22, 2014, 9am PDT | Michael Newton
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Gail Sullivan of the Washington Post details the events that led up to the suit. Between April 2013's state of emergency declared by Governor Pat Quinn after an 'epic deluge', insurance companies, led by Farmers, investigated and found Chicago-area municipalities negligently operated and managed drainage systems inadequate to prevent flooding of insured properties.

The plaintiffs allege "'During the past 40 years, climate change in Cook County has caused rains to be of greater volume, greater intensity and greater duration than pre-1970 rainfall history evidenced'... [cites] a climate change action plan adopted in 2008 that acknowledges the link between climate change and increased rainfall."

Reports one insurance analyst in the article: "I think what the insurers are saying is: 'We’re in the business of covering unforeseen risks. Things that are basically accidents,'" Ceres insurance industry analyst Andrew Logan told NPR. "'But we’re now at a point with the science where climate change is now a foreseeable risk.'"

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Published on Thursday, May 22, 2014 in The Washington Post
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