Class action suit against Waste Connections dismissed after plaintiffs mistake wastewater plant odors for those of landfill

Class action suit against Waste Connections dismissed after plaintiffs mistake wastewater plant odors for those of landfill

The plaintiff attributed the smells to a wastewater plant rather than the landfill when assessing aerial photographs of the neighborhood.

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A proposed class action lawsuit that targeted a Waste Connections-owned landfill in Lower Saucon Township, Pennsylvania, was dismissed March 30 after plaintiffs made clear that the odor issues they were attributing to the landfill were instead originating from the nearby Bethlehem Wastewater Treatment Plant instead of the IESI Bethlehem Landfill.

Robin and Dexter Baptiste of Freemansburg, Pennsylvania, filed a class action lawsuit against the landfill in 2018, stating its odors and pollutants were affecting area residents’ daily lives.

However, lawyers for Waste Connections noted that Robin Baptiste revealed during her March 5 deposition that she had mistaken the wastewater treatment plant that was located a half-mile from her home for the landfill.

According to The Morning Call, “She identified the wastewater treatment plant in an aerial photo of her neighborhood as the landfill and testified that the facility was the source of the odors. She also testified she was unaware of any other smells in the neighborhood.”

“The Baptistes’ counsel, highly experienced waste lawyers, should have reviewed these statements and considered the possibility that the nearby sewage plant was the culprit, triggering at least a look at a map and a confirmatory conversation with their clients, which would have quickly cleared things up,” the landfill’s lawyers said, according to The Morning Call.

“This is a well-run facility that utilizes state-of-the-art landfill technology. Our own personnel live in the community and the landfill takes pride in being a good neighbor,” Robert McReynolds, division vice president at Waste Connections, said.

The plaintiffs’ claims were dismissed in their entirety with prejudice and it was ruled that each side pay their own court costs.