Litigation in Solid Waste Industry

Truck throwing trash

McLaughlin & Nardi, LLC’s attorneys represent New Jersey solid waste companies in every aspect of their businesses. Our litigation attorneys have significant experience litigating disputes on behalf of solid waste haulers. While the solid waste industry is heavily regulated, businesses which haul, transfer, dispose of or transport garbage are businesses just like any other. They have the same needs and problems as any other business in addition to their regulatory issues with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (often referred to as the DEP or the NJDEP). Our lawyers represent New Jersey solid waste businesses in litigation over all type of disputes. We always fight aggressively for our clients. On the other hand, we know that solid waste companies are in the business of making money through quality garbage disposal, not litigation, so we keep in mind what is in their best interests, and we work with our clients every step of the way.

Our litigators have represented solid waste companies throughout the Northeast, but particularly in the State and Federal Courts in New Jersey. Attorneys from our firm have also had significant success representing solid waste haulers in arbitration and mediation.

Before discussing the nuts and bolts of litigation, however, it is important to bear in mind that having a well-drafted contract will often prevent disputes, or if a dispute does happen it can help the hauler win. We therefore negotiate and draft contracts for solid waste companies to use with their customers, employers, vendors and others to avoid disputes, provide the least expensive procedure to handle disputes, and also to put our clients in the best position possible to win if litigation does eventually occur.

Regulatory and Government Litigation

New Jersey solid waste law is complex. It is important to have experienced counsel representing you in this difficult area. Our lawyers represent solid waste businesses in disputes with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection . However, there are many other federal, New Jersey and local agencies which regulate solid waste companies, such as the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the state, federal and local taxing authorities, county solid waste authorities and regional authorities such as the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission, local governments and law enforcement authorities. Our litigators have significant experience representing clients in disputes with these entities.

Employment Litigation

Solid waste companies, like other companies, rely heavily on their employees. Disputes often occur. Employees may initiate wage and hour disputes or claim that they were not paid for overtime. Employees may claim they were discriminated or retaliated against, or harassed. Our solid waste attorneys handle claims that workers who should have been treated as employees were wrongfully classified as independent contractors, thereby not being eligible for overtime, benefits, or having the employer pay the matching payroll taxes. We represent solid waste companies in litigation over matters such as these with the relevant governmental agencies such as the New Jersey Department of Labor, the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights, or the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or with the employees themselves.

Partnership and Shareholder Litigation

The stresses of business sometimes cause disputes among the owners of even the most successful solid waste companies. Many times these disputes lead to a “business divorce,” where one partner leaves or the company is split up into pieces. Other times negotiations or discussions lead to amicable resolutions in which the owners resolve their differences and continue working together. We represent owners of solid waste companies when they have disagreements with each other. Where possible we try to negotiate agreements which solve the problem. Where this is not possible, we fight aggressively for our clients in court, arbitration or mediation against their former fellow owners.

Contract Litigation

Most business relationships in the solid waste industry, as in most industries, are governed by oral or written contracts (a written contract is, of course, much better). When a party breaches a contract, if it cannot be resolved it will often wind up in litigation or arbitration. Our lawyers have litigated and arbitrated many contract disputes with customers, venders, suppliers, employees, general contractors, subcontractors, leasing companies, landlords and tenants, and all manner of persons and businesses.

Collection and Disputes with Customers

Even when solid waste businesses have provided great services, customers frequently don’t pay their bills. This is an unfortunate fact of life for all businesses. We have had significant success helping solid waste companies collect their unpaid bills. This includes through negotiations, litigation and arbitration. We also pursue recovery to the fullest extent allowed by law even when the customer has declared bankruptcy.

Tortious Interference

Sometimes when a contractor has an ongoing relationship with a customer, usually through a contract, another hauler may come in and undercut their prices and induce the customer to breach the contract and use the other hauler. While there may be a suit against the customer, depending on the circumstances the hauler may also be able to successfully sue the interloper. These are tough claims, but our litigators have had considerable success in this type of litigation, including at trial, against haulers who have wrongfully induced our clients’ customers to breach their contracts.


Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution, or “ADR.” In arbitration, parties voluntarily agree to resolve their disputes outside the court system. An arbitrator, a neutral third party with no relationship with the parties, will hear testimony and evidence and then make a decision. The decision can be entered as a judgment in court, and is enforceable as if it were a final judgment after a trial by jury. Our attorneys have arbitrated many cases to successful conclusion.

Negotiation and Mediation

At all times we keep in mind what is in the best interests of our clients, for whom there are often competing concerns. For instance, in some cases business may decide a settlement is cheaper than litigation, and in others it may want to litigate no matter the time or expense to deter anyone from making similar claims. We work with them to come to the best decision in their particular circumstances, and then our litigators aggressively pursue that end. Mediation is another form of alternative dispute resolution, where a mediator, another neutral third party, will meet with the parties and try to bridge the gap between them so they can resolve and settle their dispute. Our attorneys have considerable experience, and indeed Maurice McLaughlin has been appointed to be a mediator in hundreds of cases.

Defense Litigation

Getting sued is sometimes the cost of doing business. Losing, however, should not be. Our firm’s litigators represent solid waste haulers when they are sued.

Leasing and Real Estate Litigation

Solid waste haulers enter into many leasing agreements, such as real estate leases, equipment leases and ground leases. Likewise, garbage businesses often purchase the property from which they operate their businesses. In many of these lease relationships disputes often occur. Our lawyers represent buyers, sellers, lessors ad lessees in all phases of litigation resulting from lease relationships.

Insurance Disputes

Whether it’s an accident involving one of the company’s vehicles, damage from storms, fire or other accidents, or defense in lawsuits, insurance provides an important safeguard for every company. Sometimes, however, insurance companies wrongfully deny coverage. Denial of coverage can have dramatic effects on the business’s bottom line – sometimes it can even drive a company out of business. We represent solid waste companies negotiating with and suing insurance companies when they wrongfully refuse to cover claims.

Contact Us.

We have considerable experience representing solid waste businesses. Attorneys from our firm have represented solid waste haulers in all these areas, and more. You call us at (973) 890-0004, or e-mail us through the portal on this page. We can help.

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