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No Surrender

Waste Management to appeal verdict in Texas Disposal's defamation lawsuit.

Stephen Ursery

December 1, 2010

1 Min Read
No Surrender

Waste Management says it will appeal a $25.5 million judgment against the company made by a Texas jury in November in a defamation lawsuit filed by Texas Disposal Systems.

Texas Disposal Systems filed the lawsuit in 1997, claiming that Waste Management had made false and defamatory statements about Texas Disposal as the two companies were competing for a landfill contract from the city of Austin, Texas. Six years later, a jury agreed with Texas Disposal’s allegation but awarded the firm no damages. A Texas appeals court later ordered the case retried, and in November, a Harris County, Texas, jury sided with Texas Disposal and ordered Waste Management to pay $5.45 million in actual damages and $20 million in exemplary damages.

“[Texas Disposal] is very pleased to have had the opportunity to fairly present its case and to see justice prevail,” said Bob Gregory, CEO of Texas Disposal, in a statement. “We hope Waste Management’s board of directors will receive the jury’s apparent message concerning the acceptable limits of fair competitive practices.”

In a statement, Waste Management said, “Significant errors by the court lead to the verdict, and Waste Management is confident that the Court of Appeals and/or the Texas Supreme Court will overturn it.”

Waste Management “is very disappointed by this decision,” said Don Smith, area vice president for WM of South Texas. “We will be seeking prompt relief from the trial court and are prepared to appeal this award to the highest level.”

About the Author(s)

Stephen Ursery

Editor, Waste Age Magazine, Waste360

Stephen Ursery is the editor of Waste Age magazine. During his time as editor, Waste Age has won more than 20 national and regional awards. He has worked for Penton Media since August 1999. Before joining Waste Age as the magazine's managing editor, he was an associate editor for American City & County and for National Real Estate Investor.

Prior to joining Penton, Stephen worked as a reporter for The Marietta Daily Journal and The Fulton County Daily Report, both of which are located in metro Atlanta.

Stephen earned a BA in History from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

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