State and federal law enforcement authorities are ratcheting up their investigation to determine whether Village of Crestwood official knowingly supplied water to village residents which was tainted with dichloroethylene and vinyl chloride, two substances which are widely regarded as being so dangerous that there is no safe level of exposure. Both chemicals are considered carcinogens, or cancer-causing. The Village has apparently been using the tainted water since 1986 despite knowing that the water was contaminated.A number of lawsuits have been filed, alleging that residents have suffered from cancers or suffered wrongful deaths due to exposure from water containated with dichloroethylene and vinyl chloride. Some of the lawsuits seek class action status.The filing of a class action lawsuit has serious implications for anyone who is a potential class member. The decision to remain a member of the class action has serious legal consequences. People who are members of the class are bound by any verdict or settlement in the class action unless they affirmatively opt out of the class. The decision to opt out of the class action is one for which there are time limitations. Anyone who is a potential class member should seek the help of an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer before making a decision to stay in or opt out of the class action.