Company wants money it would have seen from cleaning grease traps

By Kelly Holleran | Nov 30, 2010

BECKLEY – For years, a Fayette County company earned tens of thousands of dollars cleaning grease traps at Walmarts and Sam's Clubs throughout the mountain state.

But it lost the job. Now the company wants to see the money it would have earned returned to it.

Crosier's Sanitary Service filed a lawsuit in Raleigh Circuit Court against Environmental Products and Services of Vermont.

Beginning in 2008, the future of Crosier's looked bright when it negotiated an agreement with EPS to provide subcontracting services to clean the grease traps of all the Sam's Clubs and Walmarts throughout West Virginia.

"The negotiated terms of the agreement between Plaintiff and Defendant were that Plaintiff would supply labor and equipment necessary to routinely, according to schedules set forth under the prior contractor, pump and dispose of grease and materials from the grease trap tanks of the Walmart and Sam's Club stores in the State of West Virginia for an amount of $275 per 1,000 gallons pumped," the suit states. "The term of the contract was to be the duration of the contract between Defendant and the stores, being two years."

Soon after Crosier's began emptying the grease traps, EPS also hired it to begin pressure washing grease traps for $750 per tank, the complaint says.

After pressure washing about two-thirds of all the grease traps in the West Virginia stores, Crosier's sent EPS an invoice for 28 of the tanks, it claims.

Following its receipt of the invoice, EPS talked Crosier's into accepting only $75 per tank cleaned -– a 10 percent decrease from its previous, promised price, according to the complaint.

Thinking that it could keep its contract with EPS only by accepting the invoice, Crosier's agreed to the lowered payments, the suit states.

Despite Crosier's agreement to the drop in price and the timely work it performed, EPS terminated it on Feb. 25, 2009, without just cause, causing Crosier's to lose future profits, according to the complaint.

In addition, EPS failed to pay Crosier's $2,811.16 for work it had already performed, the suit states.

In its complaint, Crosier's seeks compensatory and punitive damages, plus attorney's fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

EPS removed the case to U.S. District Court, saying the case meets federal jurisdiction requirements. The New-York based EPS and Crosier's reside in different states, and Crosier's seeks more than $75,000.

Thomas K. Fast of Fast Law Office in Fayetteville will be representing Crosier's.

M. David Griffith and W. Bradley Sorrells of Robinson and McElwee in Charleston will be representing EPS.

U.S. District Court case number: 1:10-1287

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