A Cudahy-based commercial trash-hauling firm Wednesday agreed to pay $236,500 to settle a civil lawsuit in which the district attorney's office charged that it had conspired with other trash collectors to fix prices and eliminate competition.
While admitting no wrongdoing or liability, System Disposal Service Inc., and its parent corporation, GSX Solid Waste Services Inc., agreed to pay $200,000 in civil penalties and $36,500 to reimburse the district attorney's office for the expense of investigating the case.
The company also was permanently enjoined against anti-competitive practices.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael J. Delaney, who was in charge of the case, said System was spared criminal charges because of its cooperation in his office's investigation.
System's former general manager, John Marderosian, 54, of Reseda, however, was one of five individuals singled out for prosecution last month when the district attorney's office filed criminal charges against three other trash-disposal companies operating in Los Angeles County.
Firms charged with conspiracy against trade were Waste Management of California Inc., Western Waste Industries and Angelus Hudson Inc.
Individuals charged, in addition to Marderosian, were Wiley A. Scott Jr., 32, of Pasadena, an official of Waste Management; Clifford R. Chamblee, 63, of Lakewood, an official of Waste Management at the time of the alleged conspiracy, and Ishkan Gordian, 43, of Glendale, and George Osepian, 68, of Torrance, both officials of Western Waste.
Felony complaints filed in the case charged that the defendants unlawfully conspired "for the purpose of and with the effect of dividing the market for commercial solid waste disposal services among competitors and fixing prices for those services among competitors."
Suits Announced In announcing the settlement of its civil action against System, the district attorney's office also announced filing of civil lawsuits against Waste Management, Western Waste and Angelus Hudson, and also against the five individual criminal defendants.
If convicted on the criminal charges, the corporations could be fined as much as $1 million apiece and could lose the right to do business in California, while the individual defendants could be sentenced to a maximum of three years in prison and fines of $100,000 apiece.
The civil lawsuits could result in penalties amounting to $2,500 for each violation, plus permanent injunction against anti-competitive activities.