In 2016, Closed Loop Refining and Recovery closed up shop and left about 151 million pounds of CRT material in their wake. This resulted in a legal debate over who was responsible for cleaning up the abandoned material, as well as who would fund the process. Complaints were filed in 2017, 2019 and again in August 2020 targeting first e-scrap companies then OEMs.
Garrison Southfield Park and Olymbec USA, the owners of the warehouse in which the CRT materials were left, sued every company they deemed responsible for direct shipments to Closed Loop via their participation in state EPR programs. After years of legal turmoil, the case is finally coming to a close in the form of settlements.
Sony Electronics and EWASTE+ recently agreed to pay a combined $2.4 million in order to end the lawsuit in one of the largest settlements in the case. The settlement requires Sony to pay $1.3 million, and a company currently doing business as EWASTE+ will pay $1.1 million.
Sony and EWASTE+ haven’t been the only companies to reach a settlement. Their settlement comes after a $6 million settlement from Kuusakoski Recycling/Vintage Tech, the largest in the case to date.
Sony had previously reached a settlement with the landlords once before in 2020 to pay $1.2 million, however, when 10 other defendants objected due to belief that Sony was underpaying, EWASTE+ submitted contract documents proving that sony directed materials to be sent to Closed Loop and the judge rejected Sony’s settlement in 2021.
The warehouse has been cleaned, and as of Sept. 30 three dozen defendants have reached settlements in agreement to help fund the CRT cleanup projects.