A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit seeking damages for the Lafayette City-Parish Council’s decision in 2011 to block controversial plans for a garbage transfer station just outside the city limits on Sunbeam Lane.
That decision has already cost city-parish government $3.4 million in a 2013 settlement with the company that was developing the site, Waste Facilities of Lafayette.
The lawsuit dismissed Wednesday was in a separate suit filed by waste hauler Progressive Waste Solutions, which had planned to lease the site from Waste Facilities.
While Waste Facilities walked away with a big check, U.S. District Judge Richard Haik wrote in his dismissal that Progressive Waste didn’t have a valid claim.
“Judge Haik’s well-reasoned ruling today clearly supports the consistent position LCG (Lafayette Consolidated Government) has taken in this matter. We are certainly pleased with this outcome and ready to put this chapter behind us,” City-Parish Attorney Michael Hebert said in an email.
Attorneys for Progressive Waste could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.
The company could appeal Haik’s ruling.
Waste Facilities had already purchased the 16-acre site on Sunbeam Lane for the transfer station and begun construction when the council voted to revoke permits for the facility at the urging of residents who raised concerns about noise, odors and trash.
Progressive Waste had planned to lease the site to off-load garbage from route trucks to tractor-trailers, which would then haul the garbage to landfills outside the parish.
Waste Facilities’ $3.4 million payout settled a lawsuit that had sought damages for money it had spent on the project and future losses from not being able to lease the transfer station.
Progressive Waste sought similar damages to business losses, but Haik wrote in his ruling that the company presented no evidence of any substantial financial impact.
Progressive Waste ultimately built a garbage transfer station in Acadia Parish.