IMS Electronics Recycling will pay $5 million to help clean up CRT materials abandoned at former Closed Loop Refining and Recovery sites in Phoenix.
The company reached a settlement with property owners who sued IMS and other e-scrap companies that shipped CRT materials to Closed Loop, which failed in 2016 and left private property owners and taxpayers on the hook for cleanup. A judge approved the settlement the same day it was submitted, Jan. 31.
The plaintiffs – Berendo Property, Harrison Properties, Lincoln Industrial and Predio Management – filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Arizona on Oct. 7, 2022. Their complaint argued that dozens of CRT suppliers are legally obligated to help pay for a cleanup estimated at $15 million or more.
Two other defendants, California Electronic Asset Recovery (CEAR) of California, and Federal Prison Industries (doing business as UNICOR) have each agreed to $1 million settlements.
The landowners alleged IMS was by far the largest single supplier, sending 71.5 million pounds of material to Phoenix. According to the judge’s approval of the settlement, that was about 37% of the 195 million pounds shipped to the Phoenix sites, although it’s about two-thirds of what was ultimately abandoned on site, 106 million pounds.
The $5 million settlement represents about one-third of the cost of the cleanup. “Because the settlement amount is proportional to IMS’ alleged share of responsibility and the funds will be put toward cleanup efforts, the settlement agreement is substantively fair and reasonable,” the judge ruled. The Arizona case mirrors a years-long lawsuit winding down in Columbus, Ohio, where Closed Loop had three warehouses full of CRT materials. In that case, IMS and its client Dell jointly agreed to pay landlowers $1.12 million to help fund the cleanup.
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