Dispute Ended Over Cemetery Land for O'Hare Runway

Settlement ends a five-year legal battle over the land

Friday, Dec 28, 2012  |  Updated 12:55 PM CDT
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Dispute Ended Over Cemetery Land for O'Hare Runway

Bernie Talley

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The city of Chicago has agreed to pay a church $1.3 million for a plot of land that included a historic cemetery but was sought for the expansion of O'Hare International Airport.

This month's settlement ends a five-year legal battle over the land.

Attorney Richard Friedman works for Neal & Leroy, the firm that represented the city. He says a judge was able to get the sides to agree on compensation and avoided taking the issue to trial.

The St. Johannes Cemetery was started by German pioneers in 1849.

The city acquired the land in 2010 from the St. John United Church of Christ through an eminent domain lawsuit, and about 1,500 bodies were disinterred and reburied elsewhere. But the two sides had continued to argue over fair compensation.

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