Waste Industries Settlement

Wild Rides Internet Café, LLC, and Climate Masters Heating & Cooling, LLC v. Waste Industries, LLC. 17 CV 756-1

Frequently Asked Questions

Following is a list of frequently asked questions about this matter. To view the answer to a question, please click on the question from the list below. The answers to these questions will be updated periodically to reflect the current status of the settlement.

  1. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit claims that Waste Industries charged and collected “fuel surcharges” (also called “energy recovery fees”) and “environmental fees” which were excessive and unlawful. According to Plaintiffs, by doing these things Waste Industries breached the contracts that some of its customers entered into and violated state statutory law. Waste Industries denies that it did anything wrong, and the Court has not found that Waste Industries did anything wrong.

  2. What is a class action?

    In a class action, one or more plaintiffs, called “Class Representatives” (in this case, the Plaintiffs), sue on behalf of all people and companies that have similar claims. All these other people and companies are “Class Members.” One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except those who voluntarily exclude themselves from the class.

  3. Why is there a settlement?

    The Court did not decide in favor of either side. Instead, both sides agreed to a compromise settlement to avoid the cost and risk of a trial and a possible appeal. Settlement also ensures that the people affected will get compensation. In return, the Defendants get a general release of all claims which were or could have been asserted in the lawsuit. The Class Representatives and Class Counsel believe the settlement is in the best interests of everyone affected.

  4. How do I know if I am part of the settlement?

    The Court has certified a Settlement Class defined as:

    All individuals and entities in the United States which paid Defendants or Released Parties one or more of the Fees at any time within the applicable statutes of limitation for each claim through September 15, 2017. Excluded from the Settlement Class are: (1) municipalities, (2) landfill and transfer station customers (but only as to the amounts paid to a landfill or transfer station), (3) any individual or entity currently in bankruptcy, (4) any individual or entity whose obligations were discharged in bankruptcy, and (5) any judicial officer who has presided over any of the pending litigation in Georgia or North Carolina.

    If you received written notice, then the parties believe that you are a member of the class based upon Waste Industries’s records.

  5. What if I only paid one of the fees?

    You still are a class member even if you paid only a “fuel surcharge” (also called an “energy recovery fee”) or only an “environmental fee” between March 3, 2011 (or other statutory date, if applicable) and September 15, 2017.

  6. What is my class period start date (determined by my billing state)?

    Following is a table that contains the class period start date that is determined by your billing state. Please look for your billing state.

    Billing State Class Period Start Date
    AL 9/15/2011
    AK 3/3/2011
    AZ 9/15/2011
    AR 9/15/2012
    CA 9/15/2013
    CO 9/15/2014
    CT 3/3/2014
    DC 9/15/2014
    DE 9/15/2014
    FL 9/15/2012
    GA 9/15/2011
    HI 3/3/2011
    ID 3/3/2011
    IL 9/15/2007
    IN 9/15/2007
    IA 9/15/2007
    KS 3/3/2011
    Billing State Class Period Start Date
    KY 9/15/2002
    LA 9/15/2007
    ME 3/3/2011
    MD 9/15/2014
    MA 9/15/2011
    MI 9/15/2011
    MN 3/3/2011
    MS 3/3/2011
    MO 9/15/2007
    MT 3/3/2011
    NE 9/15/2012
    NV 3/3/2011
    NH 3/3/2011
    NJ 9/15/2011
    NM 9/15/2011
    NY 9/15/2011
    NC 9/15/2014
    Billing State Class Period Start Date
    ND 9/15/2011
    OH 9/15/2009
    OK 9/15/2012
    OR 9/15/2011
    PA 9/15/2013
    RI 3/3/2011
    SC 9/15/2014
    SD 3/3/2011
    TN 9/15/2011
    TX 9/15/2013
    UT 9/15/2011
    VT 3/3/2011
    VA 9/15/2012
    WA 9/15/2011
    WV 9/15/2007
    WI 3/3/2011
    WY 3/3/2011
  7. What if I’m still not sure if I am included?

    If you still are not sure whether you are included in the settlement as a Class Member, you can get additional information by calling the Settlement Administrator at 1-855-665-4154, emailing at info@WasteIndustriesSettlement.com or by writing us at:

    Waste Industries Class Action Settlement Administrator
    c/o Dahl Administration, LLC
    PO Box 3614
    Minneapolis, MN 55403-0614

  8. What does the settlement provide?

    Waste Industries has agreed to establish a settlement fund of $4,875,000. This fund will be used to pay Class Members who submit timely and valid claims, after any Court approved amounts for attorney’s fees, class representative incentive awards, administration costs, and reimbursed litigation expenses are paid from the settlement fund. This remaining amount is referred to as the “net settlement fund.”

  9. What can I get from the settlement?

    If you are a Class Member who submits a timely and valid claim, you will get a settlement check representing a portion of the fees you paid.

    The portion you receive will be equitably determined on a pro-rata basis by the settlement administrator. The total amount of the fees you paid as a percentage of the total amount of fees paid by all Class Members who submit timely and valid claims will determine your percentage share of the net settlement fund. The total amount of your payment will depend on how many other Class Members submit valid claims.

  10. How can I get a payment?

    To qualify for payment, you must submit your claim online by January 16, 2018. If you choose not to submit your claim form online, you must mail a paper claim to the settlement administrator appointed by the Court by January 16, 2018. A paper copy of the claim form may be downloaded by clicking here.

  11. What if I have multiple locations?

    Submit only one claim form, even if you had multiple locations serviced by Waste Industries.

  12. When would I get my payment?

    The Court held a hearing on November 2, 2017 to decide whether to approve the settlement. The settlement was approved on November 2, 2017.

  13. How do I request to be excluded from the class?

    The deadline to exclude yourself has passed. The deadline was October 19, 2017.

  14. If I remain in the class, what claims are being released?

    Unless you exclude yourself, you are staying in the Settlement Class, and that means that you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Waste Industries regarding the claims in this lawsuit. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will legally bind you. Specifically, you will release any and all causes of action, claims for damages, equitable, legal and administrative relief, interests, penalties, fees, costs, demands, losses, liabilities or rights, whether based on federal, state, or local laws, statues or ordinances, regulations, contracts, common law or any other source, known or unknown, whether or not concealed or hidden, that Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class have against Defendants and/or Released Parties (as those terms are defined in the Settlement Agreement) regarding the Fees, including without limitation, claims for breach of contract, claims for injunctive or declaratory relief, and claims for violation of any state or federal statutes, rules, or regulations, including without limitation any common law or statutory claims for unlawful, unconscionable, unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent business practices arising out of, based upon, or related to the facts, transactions, events, occurrences, acts, practices, or omissions that were alleged or could have been alleged in the litigation, including without limitation, those arising from the implementation, maintenance, calculation, assessment, modification, and/or charging and collecting of the Fees. The full release language is included in the Settlement Agreement.

  15. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you do nothing, you will get no money from the settlement and will release all claims as discussed in the previous question.

  16. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    Yes. The Court has appointed the law firm Price Armstrong, LLC, Birmingham, Alabama, to represent you and other Class Members. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense, but you are not required to do so.

  17. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Under the terms of the settlement, the appointed lawyers can ask the Court for attorneys’ fees up to one-third of the settlement fund, and for reimbursement of litigation expenses incurred up to $35,000. This award is to compensate the four separate law firms for the thousands of hours they spent in pursuing the multiple class actions across four states, and the risk they took that no resolution would ever be reached. The appointed lawyers may also seek payments up to $15,000 for each of the class representatives, to compensate them for their time and effort in bringing these lawsuits. The costs to administer the settlement and to provide notice will be paid from the settlement fund.

  18. How do I object to the Court if I don’t like the Settlement?

    The deadline to object to the settlement has passed. The deadline was October 19, 2017.

  19. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court held a Fairness Hearing at 10:00 a.m. on November 02, 2017 in Superior Court of Dougherty County, Georgia. The settlement was approved on November 2, 2017. If there are any appeals, this could delay payment of claims, possibly for more than a year.

  20. How do I get more information?

    You can email, call or write the Settlement Administrator at info@WasteIndustriesSettlement.com, 1-855-665-4154 or Waste Industries Class Action Settlement Administrator, c/o Dahl Administration, LLC, P.O. Box 3614, Minneapolis, MN 55403-0614.

    Please do not contact the Court or Clerk of Court with any questions regarding this case.