WM Seeks Prompt Court Relief to Maintain Reputation as an Ethical Company
AUSTIN, TEX. -Nov. 10, 2010 -Waste Management of Texas Inc. has expressed disappointment and disagreement with a recent decision in a Travis County state district jury case involving its reputation. The case, Texas Disposal Systems Landfill, Inc. (TDS) vs. Waste Management of Texas Inc., is a 13-year-old matter in which a previous trial jury awarded no damages. The case was originally filed in 1997 and tried in 2003, in which a jury found that the company suffered no damages. An appeal was made and, in 2006, the Texas Third Court of Appeals remanded the case for retrial, which was completed last week.
For a second time, a jury found that an “action alert” involved in the case did not cause the competing business to lose any profits or business. The issue of a public figure plaintiff being awarded millions for “presumed” reputational damage, when the same jury found zero in true lost profits or business, presents exactly the type of constitutional danger that the United States Supreme Court predicted in Gertz, and the Texas Supreme Court found of concern in Bently v. Bunton. Significant errors by the Court led to the verdict and Waste Management is confident that the Court of Appeals and/or the Texas Supreme Court will overturn it. “WM Texas 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.”
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Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. Waste Management has been named on Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies list. The company is the only one listed in the “environmental services and equipment” category. CEO David Steiner in 2007 was named to Ethisphere’s “100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics.” To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.