Waste company files suit

By Thomas Wilson

STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

  
A solid waste management company has filed suit against the Carter County Board of Education after the board voted to terminate the system's solid waste contract with the company earlier this month.
   Filed in Carter County Circuit Court this week by attorney Steven Schmidt of Knoxville, the suit names Waste Management, Inc., as plaintiffs against the Board of Education.
   The complaint reads that Waste Management entered into numerous contracts with the school system to provide waste management services to several schools in Carter County.
   The complaint reads that the contracts provided a five year service of waste management effective from the date of the contracts. The contracts term was to run from August 16, 2000 through August 15, 2005, according to the complaint.
   The Board of Education terminated all contracts as of October 1, 2002, states the lawsuit. As a result, liquidated damages are payable by the Board to Waste Management in the aggregate amount of $41,629.16 pursuant to the contracts, according to the complaint.
   The contract presented in the suit as "Exhibit A" reads that if Customer defaults or attempts to cancel Contractor's agreement, the monetary damages would "be difficult, if not, impossible to calculate."
   The contract reads that, "...Customer agrees that in such event it will pay all past due sums and, in addition, shall pay as liquidated damages and not as a penalty an amount equal to 30 percent of the product of the last monthly charge at the time of default or cancellation, multiplied by the number of months then remaining in the current term of the Agreement."
   The lawsuit alleges the Board of Education refused to pay the liquidated damages. The complaint further reads that the company sent a letter on September 26, 2002 through legal counsel demanding payment of the liquidated damages be made.
   The Board's attorney John Banks said Wednesday he had not seen the lawsuit. He added that he could not comment about any pending litigation of a client.
   Schmidt could not be reached for comment.
   The lawsuit reads that Waste Management is seeking the $41,629.16 damages plus attorneys fees and court costs.