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Rouse Frets Attorneys Greg Musil and Brett Randol Prevail for Unified Government in Tenth Circuit Decision in Breach of Contract Lawsuit brought by Waste Management

Leawood, KS – July 7, 2023: Greg Musil and Brett Randol, attorneys with Rouse Frets White Goss Gentile Rhodes, secured a victory in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals July 6, 2023, affirming a federal district court ruling in favor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas (the “UG”). Musil and Randol were engaged by the UG in March 2020, after Waste Management sought to terminate its contractual relationship with the UG, a contract dating back to 1993 and providing trash and recycling collection services to approximately 50,000 residences in Wyandotte County through 2032.

In June 2019, following significantly increased service complaints from its residents, the UG exercised its authority under the contract to impose penalties on Waste Management when it failed to timely respond to reports of missed trash or recycling collections.  In response, Waste Management claimed the UG was in default, and then it purported to terminate the contract.  In May 2020, Waste Management filed a lawsuit against the UG in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, arguing the provision in the contract authorizing penalties for unresolved missed collections was unlawful and unenforceable, and that Waste Management had properly terminated the contract as the result of claimed defaults by the UG.

Following significant litigation by Musil and Randol, in December 2021, the District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the UG on both issues. Waste Management unsuccessfully appealed to the Tenth Circuit, which affirmed the District Court in a 54-page decision.  The Tenth Circuit held the penalty provision was lawfully enforceable and that Waste Management’s purported termination of the contract was ineffective.

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