Farmers Insurance has filed a series of class action lawsuits against several Chicago area municipalities for allegedly failing to address climate change in their storm water runoff plan. Farmers claims that this led to massive damage to Chicago area homes during a two day deluge last April – leading to claims against Farmers' insurance policies. Farmers points to certain assertions that local officials made in the Chicago Climate Action Plan to show that the municipalities knew about the risks posed by climate change, but failed to take appropriate action. According to the suit, "The defendant knew or should have known that climate change in Cook County has resulted in greater rain fall [sic] volume, greater rainfall intensity and greater rainfall duration than pre-1970 rainfall history evidenced, resulting in greater stormwater runoff."
These suits carry far reaching implications, particularly to public and institutional owners and engineering firms, who now face potential claims for failing to give full consideration to the impacts of climate change.