Quinn: 1-800-LAW-1010. 1800law1010.com. It’s Chas Farcher, everybody. Hey, Chas.
Chas: Hey. Good morning, gentleman. How are you?
Quinn: Chas from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Thanks for joining us to talk about the trash wars.
Cantara: Yeah, I’ve been watching this story for a couple a weeks now. It’s Twin Bridges and County Waste who are fighting it out, right, Chas?
Chas: One man’s trash is another man’s trash is every man’s treasure. That’s what we got going on here, gentleman.
Cantara: Can you give us the “Reader’s Digest” version of what’s happening?
Chas: Yes, sir. So this Mr. Scott started County Waste in 1990, built it up, and then sold it in 2011 for a couple of 100 million bucks. He sold it to County Waste. Now, years later, he’s come back and brought Twin Bridges Trash Collection. He’s building that up which is now competing with his old business. He’s being sued by County Waste.
Quinn: So, I’m hearing that County Waste alleges that when Twin Bridges convinced owners of Slingerland’s to switch to their trash service, workers with Twin Bridges took a bunch of dumpsters and a bunch of bins that County Waste had located on the site and abandoned them in a parking lot at the
Price Chopper? That sounds really, really… That sounds rough, man. That sounds illegal.
Chas: Yeah. So, we got some business competition here. And County Waste alleges there’s some dirty tactics, that employees are encouraging people to switch trash companies, saying that Twin Bridges is taking over for County Waste, saying that Twin Bridges is a Canadian company. They’re anti-America, that County Waste is a Canadian company that’s anti-American and all kinds of other things.
Quinn: I will say this, Chas. The owner of Twin Bridges sold two of his American trash companies to Canada for $750 million.
Chas: There’s a lot of money in trash. And like I said, he previously sold County Waste to the current owners for 300. Now, he is building up Twin Bridges with an eye and, eventually, probably selling that company as well. So, we’ve got a lawsuit in Albany Supreme Court. There’s an obligation that Twin Bridges is encouraging people to breach their contracts with County Waste. We’ve got a lawsuit for six figures in damages and what we call punitives which is not contractual damage, not actual numbers that the company can show they lost, but they want the court to punish Twin Bridges for their actions.
Cantara: Do we know if Amy Coney Barrett will recuse herself from this if it gets up that…
Quinn: Maybe if it’s for a different supreme court.
Cantara: Different supreme court. Chas, so what’s the lawsuit now? That a guy who sells a company for, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars…normally there’s a clause in there where he won’t compete against that company? Is that the argument?
Chas: That’s probably part of it. But I doubt that County Waste has a good leg to stand on. Non-compete and non-solicit are a common part of any of these agreements, but they’ve got to be limited in duration and geographical scopes. So when we’re talking about duration usually a few years. And remember, he sold County Waste in 2011. And we’re eight years down the road now. So that clause has probably expired.
It seems like it’s more like what we would call a tortious interference with a contract. And what that means is Twin Bridges is encouraging County Waste customers to violate or breach their yearly contract that they have with County Waste.
Cantara: And that’s a legal argument, okay.
Quinn: He sounds like a robber baron to me.
Chas: Yes. He sounds like a guy who knows how to build up a business, and then sell it. And then build up another one, and sell it even with competing with the people in the industry.
Quinn: I wish I knew how to do that because he’s making money hand over fist.
Cantara: It sounds like a guy who doesn’t know how to relax. Because if I sell $100 million worth of anything, I’ll be on the island. Thank you.
Quinn: Seven hundred million, right?
Cantara: Yeah, right. So what do you think, Chas?
Quinn: Tell Twin Bridges that they can start offering their trashman to come in and take a dump in your house, and see what happens. County Waste can do that. County Waste can do that.
Cantara: Quinn has a really good relationship with his trash guy.
Quinn: Yes. So, he’s never asked to do it, but he knows he can.
Cantara: He does have an open invitation.
Quinn: Cantara, actually invited him a long time ago.
Cantara: As a seasoned attorney, Chas, what is your gut telling you about this?
Chas: It sounds to me like County Waste just kinda feels like they’re in trouble. And they’re losing a lot of business. And they’re doing anything to slow the tide. So, you know, competition is good, and it’s encouraged in this country. We want competition but gotta be on a fair playing field, gotta be ethical. You can’t be telling people that County Waste trashmen will come in your living room and take a dump, as Quinn so eloquently put it.
Quinn: No, I’ve invited him, if he needs it. You know, it’s a long day dumping trash.
Chas: No pun intended. We’ll see where the lawsuit goes. But it sounds like there’s some fair competition with, maybe, some underlining, unethical business practices. And maybe this is a way to get Twin Bridges to play on a level playing field. Aside from just collecting trash for less money, or they’re offering customers a year free of service just to do the switch.
Cantara: But I think it’s funny, Chas. I think you and Alice is spot on because I’ve been in on some meetings behind the scenes as far as advertising. And I know County Waste was looking for some ways to cut back into Twin Bridges because Twin Bridges really cut into them, so…
Quinn: Yeah, I mean, everybody, like, even… I turned the guy away at the door. He came up and offered free garbage, free garbage. I said, “No. No, I’m loyal to County Waste.”
Cantara: Quinn’s brand loyal. How’s the trash out in Chatham? Things getting removed on time?
Quinn: Really, that’s what you’re asking him?
Chas: Well, we got County Waste. But after doing this story, I’m calling Twin Bridges later on today.
Quinn: What from this story what made you want to do it?
Chas: They sound like good people. I don’t know. I don’t know. We have County Waste. I don’t think there’s any options out by me.
Quinn: Okay. All right.
Cantara: I was surprised when I learned there was options out by me.
Quinn: What are your other options?
Cantara: Twin Bridges is an option for me.
Quinn: Oh, yeah. Yeah, that’s nice.
Cantara: And I’ve got lots of people on my street. There’s a lot… We all saw The Sopranos.
Quinn: You can’t just tap Google. You’ve gotta have other things other than just Google.
Cantara: I was gonna say we’ve all seen The Sopranos. There’s a ton of money in trash.
Quinn: Oh, no question about that.
Chas: Do it like they do out in the backcountry. Throw it all in the yard and set it on fire. You don’t gotta pay anybody.
Cantara: Right. You just have 25 bucks for a 55-gallon drum. You burn everything out there.
Quinn: Are either of you guys worried about getting a visit from one of these guys?
Quinn: With his nose a little bent to the side?
Cantara: Chas, you’ve done an excellent job breaking this trash wars down for us.
Quinn: It was okay.
Cantara: I thought he was great. Thanks buddy.
Quinn: Chas Farcher from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. 1-800-LAW-1010. 1800law1010.com. See you, brother.