When Closed Loop Refining and Recovery failed in 2016, the business left about 151 million pounds of CRT material abandoned in warehouses owned by Garrison Southfield Park and Olymbec USA. Thus began a legal battle spanning nearly six years, starting when complaints were first filed in 2017. Complaints were filed again in 2019 and once more in 2020 over funding for the cleanup of the CRT materials, as well as who would be responsible. After a years-long legal battle, and many settlements, it seems the entire case is finally coming to an end.
On October 31, a final settlement was filed in federal court by the warehouse landlords, agreeing to drop the CRT lawsuit against Samsung, LG and MRM. The settlement requires Kuusakoski to pay $1 million more in order to end the allegations made by plaintiffs against Samsung Electronics America, LG Electronics and Electronics Manufacturers Recycling Management Co. (MRM), who were all contracted with Kuusakoski, a major CRT supplier to Closed Loop. The settlement clears the OEMs of having to pay any cleanup funds, and removes them from the case.
The most difficult aspect of the case was parsing out just how many pounds of CRT materials were sent to Closed Loop by each OEM. The settlement documents stated that, “the manner in which the EPR obligations are discharged can make it difficult to ascribe specific weights of E-Waste at the facility to specific OEMs with any reasonable degree of certainty so as to support application of the same cost recovery formula used for prior settlers.”
According to Garrison Southfield Park and Olymbec USA, together, Kuusakoski and Vintage Tech were the lead suppliers, contributing 49 million pounds of the 151 million pounds of the CRT material left by Closed Loop in three different warehouses. After some document discrepancies between Closed Loop and MRM, all issues have been resolved and the Closed Loop Case has finally been put to rest.
The new CEO of Kuusakoski Recycling US, as of June 2022, Patrick O’Hara issued a statement saying, “We are happy to move ahead after the lengthy process and continue to serve our customers in North America.“