Lawsuit by Bensenville residents over O'Hare noise gains momentum

  • Low-flying jets prepare to land at O'Hare International Airport running parallel to the houses on Hillside Drive in Bensenville.

    Low-flying jets prepare to land at O'Hare International Airport running parallel to the houses on Hillside Drive in Bensenville. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted6/8/2017 1:00 AM

Attorneys for Bensenville residents beset by the racket of O'Hare International Airport jets claimed a significant victory Wednesday after a Cook County judge allowed a lawsuit against Chicago to proceed.

The lawsuit, filed in fall of 2015, has been in limbo as lawyers for Chicago tried to get the case dismissed.

 

The residents contend the din from airplanes is harmful and has destroyed their quality of life.

Attorney Michael Leonard said Judge Thomas Mulroy's decision was a "huge event. Until we got over this hump, there was not much to do in the case; now we've got past this, we can pursue depositions."

Chicago legal department officials previously said they do not believe the complaint has merit and the city will "vigorously oppose it."

The lawsuit argues problems in the Hillside neighborhood just west of O'Hare started when a new runway opened in October of 2013.

"The residents suffer from a constant uneasy feeling ... family and home life is in constant stress and distress because of sleep interruption ... children cannot enjoy normal childhoods," are among the claims.

The lawsuit seeks at a minimum that residents be compensated for the fair value of their homes before the runway opened.

Chicago Aviation Department authorities contend that when a sixth parallel runway opens at the airport in 2020 jet noise will be distributed more evenly around the region.

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