COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A Columbia woman is seeking a class-action lawsuit against the City of Columbia over fees paid by customers for recycling pickup after the city suspended the service.
The petition-- filed on Tuesday by Christine Gardener -- alleges a breach of contract by the city, as well as unjust enrichment. The lawsuit cites the city code: "As part of its basic service to residential customers, as set out in section 22-159, the city will also provide weekly pickup of recyclable material," and states charges for the service are not taxes.
As part of the suit, Gardener is requesting that all individuals who had services with the city since May 17 be compensated. Gardener's attorney, Anthony Meyer told ABC 17 News that the lawsuit is also requesting a judge order the city to reinstate curbside recycling.
In May, the city halted its recycling services indefinitely, citing staffing issues. In September, the city stated that Columbia Solid Waste was short 16 employees needed to restart the recycling program. At a September City Council meeting, a Columbia Solid Waste spokesman said monthly fees also go to landfill fees and drop-off centers.
Meyer said he could not comment on the amount of money the lawsuit is requesting. City spokeswoman Sydney Olsen said "the city cannot comment on ongoing litigation."
A summons was issued for the city on Wednesday. According to Rule 52, a judge will determine if the case will move forward under class-action status.