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Garrison Southfield Park LLC v. Closed Loop Refining and Recovery, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

December 18, 2019

GARRISON SOUTHFIELD PARK LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
CLOSED LOOP REFINING AND RECOVERY, INC., et al, Defendants. OLYMBEC USA LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
CLOSED LOOP REFINING AND RECOVERY, INC., et al, Defendants.

          Elizabeth P. Deavers Magistrate Judge

          OPINION AND ORDER

          EDMUND A. SARGUS, JR. JUDGE

         In this consolidated case, there are two Plaintiffs: Garrison Southfield Park, LLC ("Garrison") and Olymbec USA LLC ("Olymbec") (together, "Plaintiffs"). Plaintiffs brought an action against several defendants for allegedly contributing to the environmental contamination of two warehouses owned by Garrison located at 1655 and 1675 Watkins Road, Columbus, Ohio 43207 (together, the "Properties"). The defendants then filed several counterclaims against Plaintiffs. The counterclaims were filed in three separate periods which caused Plaintiffs to file three joint motions to dismiss (together "Plaintiffs' Joint Motions to Dismiss Defendants' Counterclaims").

         The initial counterclaims were filed by the following defendants: (1) American Retroworks, Inc. (ECF No. 302);[1] (2) Complete Recycling Solutions, LLC (ECF No. 299); (3) the entity referred to in its Answer as "Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations, Inc., ia DYNAMIC RECYCLING, INC., f/k/a DYNAMIC LIFESTYLE INNOVATIONS, INC." (ECF No. 275); (4) Environmental Coordination Services & Recycling, Inc. (ECF No. 303); (5) F&F Environmental, Inc. d/b/a Quicksilver Recycling Services (ECF No. 307); (6) Green Wave Computer Recycling, LLC (ECF No. 280); (7) IMS Electronics Recycling, Inc. (ECF No. 283); (8) Kuusakoski, Inc. (ECF No. 282); (9) Kuusakoski Glass Recycling LLC (ECF No. 282); (10) Kuusakoski US, LLC (ECF No. 282); (11) Vintage Tech, LLC a/k/a Vintage Tech Kuusakoski, LLC (ECF No. 282); (12) RMG Enterprise, LLC (ECF No. 298); (13) Rochester Computer Recycling & Recovery, LLC d/b/a EWaste (ECF No. 251); (14) Sunnking, Inc. (ECF No. 304); (15) and Waste Commission of Scott County, Iowa (ECF No. 278). Plaintiffs responded by filing their first joint motion seeking dismissal of the defendants' counterclaims for attorney's fees and costs. (ECF No. 366).

         Shortly thereafter, another counterclaim was filed by Defendant eCycleSecure, LLC. (ECF No. 370). Plaintiffs then filed their second joint motion seeking to dismiss Defendant eCycleSecure, LLC's counterclaim for attorney's fees and costs. (ECF No. 407). A final counterclaim was filed by Defendant Great Lakes Electronics Corporation. (ECF No. 413). And Plaintiffs filed their third and final joint motion seeking to dismiss[2] Defendant Great Lakes Electronics Corporation's counterclaim for attorney's fees and costs. (ECF No. 418).

         For the reasons that follow, this Court GRANTS Plaintiffs' joint Motion to Dismiss. (ECF Nos. 366, 407 & 418).

         I. Facts

         This case arises from an environmental remediation dispute between Plaintiffs and Defendants.[3] On March 20, 2019, in case 2:19-cv-1041, Olymbec filed its Complaint against Defendants. (ECF No. 1). Olymbec's Complaint included five causes of action: (1) declaratory judgment pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201-2202; (2) cost recovery pursuant to Section 107(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA") (42 U.S.C. § 9607(a)); (3) recovery of preliminary investigative cost pursuant to Section 107(a) of CERCLA (42 U.S.C. § 9607(a)); (4) common law negligence and negligence per se; and (5) private nuisance. (Id. ¶ 503-556).

         Nine days later, on March 29, 2019, in case 2:17-cv-783, Garrison filed its Amended Complaint against Defendants. (ECF No. 85). Garrison's Amended Complaint mimicked the same five causes of action in Olymbec's Complaint. (Id. ¶ 802-858). On April 17, 2019, this Court found the cases to be related. (ECF No. 91). And on May 29, 2019, this Court consolidated the two cases for fact discovery. (ECF No. 212).

         In their Complaints, Plaintiffs bring this cost recovery action against Defendants, alleging Defendants contributed to the contamination of the Properties. (ECF No. 85 ¶ 1). Plaintiffs maintain that they have incurred expenses for the remediation of the Properties, and their cost recovery action is an attempt to recoup those expenses. (Id. ¶ 808-28).

         II. Legal Standard

         Plaintiffs argue that Defendants' counterclaims for attorney's fees and costs must fail according to Rule 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 366). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) authorizes dismissal of a complaint for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) challenge, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (clarifying the plausibility standard articulated in Twombly).

         A claim is plausible when the factual content "allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The factual allegations of a pleading "must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.. . ." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.. In making this determination, a court "must construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, accept all factual allegations as true, and make reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party." City of Lancaster v. Flagstar Bank, FSB, 789 F.Supp.2d 873, 877 (S.D. Ohio 2011) (citing Total Benefits Planning Agency, Inc. v. Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield,552 F.3d 430, 434 (6th Cir. 2008); Murphy v. Sofamor Danek Gp., Inc.,123 F.3d 394, 400 (6th Cir. 1997)). ...


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