B&D Secures Dismissal of Class Action Nuisance Lawsuit

The Plaintiffs in a putative class action nuisance lawsuit in Pennsylvania have voluntarily dismissed their lawsuit against Beveridge & Diamond client Bethlehem Landfill Company. Baptiste v. Bethlehem Landfill, 2021 WL 1232779 (E.D. Pa. March 30, 2021). Plaintiffs alleged that the landfill was responsible for nuisance odors affecting much of the community. At the first deposition in the case, Beveridge & Diamond litigators secured testimony from lead Plaintiff Robin Baptiste that the odors that she allegedly experienced at her home actually came from a wastewater treatment plant, not the Bethlehem Landfill, leading to a voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit days later.

“Waste Connections knew the allegations against its landfill were meritless and refused to be intimidated by this formulaic lawsuit,” Pat Shea, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Waste Connections, Bethlehem Landfill’s parent company, commented. “The plaintiffs’ dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice after one deposition vindicates the company’s position. It’s critical that the solid waste industry defend these cases vigorously and on the merits. Landfills are vital infrastructure for America and are not nuisances.”

The National Waste & Recycling Association, the trade association for the solid waste industry, applauded the outcome in a press release. NWRA Chief Counsel Jim Riley stated that  the result  in Baptiste “is an important reminder to NWRA members defending nuisance and other mass tort claims to always test the evidence.

B&D’s team included Eric Klein, Michael Murphy, Roy Prather, Collin Gannon and Jimmy Slaughter.

View news coverage of the dismissal in Law360 and the Pennsylvania Record.

B&D’s Litigation practice spans federal and state trial and appellate courts across the United States. Beveridge & Diamond’s Waste Treatment, Recycling, and Disposal Services practice helps clients across industry sectors to minimize exposure to liability, ensure regulatory compliance, and develop business opportunities. For more information, please contact the authors.

***Updated on April 8, 2021 after the NWRA press release was issued.***