Charles City files civil lawsuit against Waste Management
Charles City County filed a civil lawsuit against Waste Management of Virginia last Oct. 31, claiming a breach of contract.
County attorney Randolph Boyd filed the suit on behalf of the county. Among claims listed in court files include payments to the county for trash delivered to the landfill. Claimed statements indicate Waste Management is supposed to pay a “host fee” of $440 per ton for the first 1,200 tons, with an increase to $550 per ton afterwards. Host fees in 2011 garnered more than $2.7 million in revenue for the county.
But since then, the intake of refuse has dwindled, with monetary revenue dropping with it. In an order to work out a possible settlement, the county extended a 90-day contract to Waste Management in December 2012. Negotiations also lowered the intake for the landfill from 2,000 tons a day to 1,800 tons a day.
However, those numbers are still not being met, the county claims, prompting the county to follow through with actions and litigation. Accusations from the county’s side include Waste Management sending refuse to Amelia County, a claim the company denies in court documents filed Feb. 6. Waste Management lawyers responded to accusations, saying the county failed to mitigate damages as one of the primary reasons that the company is not liable. Also being claimed is a failure to meet conditions set as a precedence that are now being used in an attempt to enforce contractual obligations.
Waste Management is requesting a jury trial. However, the company lawyers are asking for change of venue. Lawyers claim the trial should be moved out of Charles City due to difficulty in finding an impartial jury.
The pending lawsuit is also having an immediate impact on the county. The county’s school system is being asked to return $436,000 to the county from this year’s budget (see story on page 5). Other issues plaguing the county include the replacement of wastewater systems and paying fines imposed by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
Representatives from both parties are expected to appear in court within the next month to hear a decision on the request for a jury trial and/or change of venue.