Friday, June 25, 2021

Jackson Refiles Gold Coast Lawsuit

 Gold Coast and its friends are not off the hook in Hinds County after all.  The city of Jackson refiled a lawsuit against several companies accused of dumping highly acidic wastewater into its sewer system yesterday in Hinds County Circuit Court.  

Jackson sued Gold Coast Commodities, Walker Environmental Services (dba Rebel High Velocity Services), Partridge Sibley Trucking, and their respective owners on June 9.  However, the city withdrew the lawsuit on June 17.   Defendant Andrew Walker and his company, Walker Environmental Services, filed bankruptcy in 2019.  The case is still active.  Earlier post.

Jackson filed a new complaint yesterday against Gold Coast, Partridge-Sibley, Thomas Douglas, Robert Douglas, Thomas Partridge, Justin Mahfouz, and Louie Garrett in the same court. The Douglases own Gold Coast.  Partridge, Mahfouz, and Douglas are officers at Partridge-Sibley.  Walker was dropped from the lawsuit but Garret is a new defendant.  

Gold Coast Commodities processes used cooking oil and soapstock into animal feed and other products such as biodesel at its Brandon facility.  Sulfuric acid is added.  The resulting reaction produces waste that is later mixed with a caustic agent (usually NaOH).  The waste must be kept at high temperatures or else it can't  flow. The wastewater has one other dangerous feature: it is highly acidic with a pH that can be lower than 2 if not properly treated before it is discharged. 

Brandon caught the company dumping highly acidic wastewater into its sewer system in 2014. The lawsuit states Brandon's sewer system connects to Jackson's wastewater treatment plant. Brandon sued the company in Rankin County Circuit Court.  

Banned in Brandon, Gold Coast Commodities used Partridge-Sibley to ship the wastewater to Rebel High Velocity Sewer Services in Jackson.  Rebel in turn dumped six million gallons of the Gold Coast acid directly into the Jackson sewer system. 

The lawsuit states Brandon informed Gold Coast in November 2016 it was going to place a monitor at Gold Coast's Brandon plant to "observe its disposal activities."  To avoid scrutiny, Gold Coast allegedly used Partridge-Sibley to ship its acidic wastewater to Rebel.   

Jackson had already hired Partridge-Sibley to haul away sludge from the Savannah wastewater treatment plant. Jackson accused the company of using its "intimate knowledge" of the sewer system to take advantage of the city. The company began hauling Gold Coast wastewater to Rebel.  Rebel would then in turn dump the wastewater into the Jackson sewer system.  

Partridge-Sibley allegedly placed a large storage tank at Rebel.  The lawsuit accuses the two companies of excavating Jackson's sewer line and inserting a pipe into the sewer line.  The other end of the pipe was connected to the storage tank.  The trucking company hauled at least 3 million gallons to Rebel in 2017.  Jackson charges "the defendants causes thousands of separate discharges of industrial waste into the City's sewer system over a period of several years."  

 MDEQ issued a cease and desist order against Rebel for the discharges in October 2017 and referred Rebel and Gold Coast to the EPA for criminal prosecution.   The lawsuit states: 

38.       The extent of the Defendants ' illegal waste discharges is still being investigated.  In late October  2017, the MDEQ  visited  the Rebel  facility  for an  unannounced  inspection.  During the inspection, the MDEQ investigator  discovered  that the ALAR equipment  at the Rebel facility was not being used to process Gold Coast's waste and was instead being discharged into the City ' s sewer  system  without  any  treatment  of  the waste.   The investigator  observed  steam  leaving  the sewer system  tied to the Rebel facility, and the wastewater  had a strong odor with a thick,  greasy material  on the surface.  Probe sampling of the wastewater revealed  a temperature of 132 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH of 6.51.

39.       The MDEQ investigator also took grab samples of the wastewater being discharged at the  Rebel  facility.  The investigator  placed  the samples in an ice chest and transported  them to the MDEQ's  laboratory.   After  being  stored  overnight ,  one of  the samples  exploded  in  the lab because  the sample  had  reached  its  boiling  point  during  a digestion  process  used  in  testing for metals .   In  short,  the  wastewater  being  discharged  into the  City's  public  sewer  system  was  so hazardous and explosive that a sample blew up in the MDEQ's lab.

The Justice Department filed a Bill of Information in U.S. District Court against Andy Walker, the owner of Rebel.*  Walker pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the federal investigation.

MDEQ notified the city of Jackson about the massive illegal discharges at a meeting in 2017.   The city sent its own cease and desist orders to Rebel, Gold Coast, and Partridge Trucking in October 2017.  Public Works Director Bob Miller signed the orders.  Jackson Deputy City Attorney Terry Williamson reported to MDEQ on October 30, 2017 that the city had JPD hand-deliver the orders to all three companies.  

Jackson claims its sewer system suffered damages of at least $15 million.  The complaint states Jackson is still investigating the damage to the system.  

The lawsuit charges the defendants with negligence, gross negligence, negligence per se,  and corporate officer liability.  The city asks for restitution and punitive damages. 

The case is assigned to Judge Tomie Green.  Attorney John Hawkins represents Jackson. 



Anonymous said...

Jackson should thank Gold Coast for what little water treatment the acid was able to do.

Anonymous said...

I'm betting that, if found guilty, none of THOSE defendants will get a "blessing" from Judge Green!

Hide and watch!

Kingfish said...


Anonymous said...

They won't be found guilty, it's a civil suit. The worst that can happen is that they are libel!

A dude stating the obvious said...

I don't know about all the legal ramifications, but I'd be willing to bet that if anyone was around when that sample exploded in the lab, they needed a change of underwear.

Anonymous said...

Do they hang the losers in a civil case?

Anonymous said...

Its always fun when someone incorrectly corrects someone. It’s not “libel”, it’s liable. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

>The case is assigned to Judge Tomie Green
That's really all that needed to be posted.

Anonymous said...

More popcorn, please! Table six!

Anonymous said...

You really suck at the law stuff…..despite 3 years of studying it and spending $150,000

Anonymous said...

What is the statute of limitations here? Jackson had knowledge in Oct of 2017. Are we only looking at things dumped since 2019?

Anonymous said...

Where and when is Andrew Walker going to jail?

Anonymous said...

One of the named parties filed bankruptcy. This would put a stay on the case and put it in bankruptcy court. Instead of losing jurisdiction (Hinds county) and the judge they want. Just release the parties that would prevent judge green from overseeing the case and refile.

Anonymous said...

10:37, the SOL in Mississippi for negligence is, generally speaking, 3 years, subject to the Discovery Rule and the Fraudulent Concealment of Claim statute.

Anonymous said...

Statute of limitations does not apply to lawsuits filed by a city. Miss. Code Ann. 15-1-51

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS