Jan. 21, 2015 03:16 PM
progressive waste

As ABiz reported in November, U.S. magistrate Judge Michael Hill was not happy with the attorneys for Progressive Waste Solutions of Louisiana, who refused time and again to turn over any evidence of the company’s purported financial losses related to a failed garbage transfer station in unincorporated north Lafayette Parish.

Three years ago plans for the garbage transfer station on Sunbeam Lane were well underway. Property had been purchased and a permit legally obtained. Only after it seemed a done deal did residents of the area get wind of it. They might not have been rich or powerful, but they were loud, passionate and persistent, and these residents were able to convince the City-Parish Council to yank the permit and pass an ordinance blocking the project.

Two federal lawsuits were filed over that action; one plaintiff settled (the city paid a whopping $3.4 million to the owner of the property), but the other, Progressive Waste Solutions of Louisiana, remained in a contentious struggle with local government — until last week. U.S. District Judge Richard Haik not only upheld Magistrate Hill’s decision to hold the company in contempt and sanction it, but he also tossed the lawsuit out.

Several years ago, the initial plan called for Progressive Waste to lease the facility from the property owner, Waste Facilities of Lafayette. So when the deal died, Progressive filed suit, claiming it too had been damaged by the action of the City-Parish Council. But because the company did not offer a shred of “information or evidence as to actual expenditures or losses,” according to the Haik, the federal judge dismissed the suit.

Shortly after the permit was revoked, Progressive opened a similar facility in Duson that has a Rayne address, 310 Lexington Road. Read more about the suit in the ABiz story "Up Hill Battle" here.

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