Dozens of Claims Filed After IL Paint Spill


Since a semi-tractor tanker spilled part of its paint load leaving a Valspar paint manufacturing plant in Kankakee, Illinois, last month, nearly three dozen claims have been filed.

The spill, which resulted in an immediate closure of a stretch of roadway near the facility, has since been alleged of also causing various personal and property damages.

What Happened

In initial reports of the incident, city officials reported that on Friday, Feb. 11, the 4,000-gallon tanker lost between 50 and 350 gallons of paint along East Fair Street, causing the closure of nearby Route 50 in both directions from Grinnell Road to North Harrison Avenue. North Hobbie Avenue was also closed from East Willow Street to Route 50.

At the time, the spill was reported to be the result of an unsecured hatch on the transportation vehicle.

As a result of the incident, Kankakee firefighters were called to the scene. Members of the MABAS 7 Hazmat team and representatives of the Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency, which runs the wastewater treatment plant, were also present.

Cleanups took place over the course of the weekend following the spill, with roadways reportedly opening in stages.

Spill Updates, Filed Claims

After cleanup efforts were completed, Kankakee Fire Chief Bryan LaRoche informed the Kankakee City Council that an estimated 450 gallons of waste product associated with the manufacture of paint had been spilled by truck hauling company, Action Enterprise.

Since then, The Sherwin-Williams Company-owned Valspar plant has received 34 claims. According to Daily Journal, of the 34 claims filed thus far, 33 are in relation to personal filings for damaged vehicles driving through the spill and one property damage suit as well.

While the spill was initially assumed to be the result of an unsecured hatch, officials are now reporting that the circumstances of the spill have not yet been determined.

LaRoche also informed reporters that Sherwin-Williams has been going “above and beyond” in working to rectify the issue.

About the Facility

Prior to becoming a manufacturing facility for Valspar paint in 1985, the three-story brick building on the northwest corner of Greenwood and Fair Street made a variety of products, starting back in 1890 when Kankakee quarry owner John C. Mateer subdivided 40 acres of the land into building lots. At the time, Taylor Fibre Ware Co. would be the first to build an industrial site.

Upon its completion, the company decided to run under the name Kankakee Manufacturing Co. and was known for producing pails, wash tubs, pitchers and similar waterproof containers made from a mixture of ground-up wood and resins.

In 1898, the facility was purchased by William B. Price and Frank W. Teeple and was converted to manufacture pianos. In 1902, the company was incorporated into Price & Teeple Piano Co. and moved its business to Chicago.

The following year, the Sheldon Novelty Co. obtained the property and began manufacturing products for the art market. Several years later, the company moved out and again, pianos would be manufactured at the facility, this time however, by Schaeffer Piano Manufacturing Co.

By 1906, the building was expanded by 90,000 square feet. In 1927, a company called Madison Sash and Door was given a tour of the facility and, as a result, was later replaced by Mackin Venetian Blind company in the 1929 directory.

In 1931, the property was purchased by Grover Hermann for American Asphalt Paint Co. to manufacture paint and other coating products. After more than 25 years, the plant became the home to the Chemical Coatings Division of Mobil Chemical, and in 1985, changed the name to Valspar.

In 2017, the ownership of the company was purchased by The Sherwin-Williams Company, where it still operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary within Sherwin’s Consumer Brands Group.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Coating Materials; Coatings manufacturers; Good Technical Practice; Hazardous waste; Health and safety; Lawsuits; Manufacturing Plant; NA; North America; Paint; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Sherwin-Williams; Valspar

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