HOUSTON – Commercial litigation firm Hicks Thomas LLC has filed suit on behalf of Houston recycling company EcoHub LLC, seeking access to public records that might reveal why the company’s innovative one-bin recycling plan was rejected for a more conventional, less effective and costlier waste pickup program. EcoHub was selected in 2015 for the city’s contract after former Mayor Annise Parker called for innovative proposals that could recycle virtually all household waste, allowing residents to use just one bin. The city had been awarded a $1 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies based on the one-bin concept. But that plan was upended when the city launched a new round of requests for proposals last fall. Then on July 1, 2017, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that he was recommending the Houston City Council approve a 15-year contract with FCC Environmental, a Spanish company, for $48 million.
We are merely asking the court to compel the city to provide records that fall under the Texas Public Information Act that will shed light on the decision-making of the mayor and other city officials, said Stewart Hoffer, a Hicks Thomas trial lawyer representing EcoHub. According to the lawsuit, EcoHub and its consultants have been unable to get answers from the city about why its proposal was rejected. “From all appearances, the FCC proposal would cost the City nearly 350% more than the bid that EcoHub submitted, the lawsuit says.
I invented a system that will basically frack and refine garbage into new products, leading to the elimination of landfills and significant economic benefit to Houston, said EcoHub CEO George Gitschel. I have played by the city’s rules only to have my efforts rejected. This lawsuit should expose the truth about what’s going on with the city contract. The lawsuit, EcoHub v. City of Houston, Cause No. 2017-50825, was filed Aug. 1 in Harris County 11th District Court.
Founded in 1997, Texas-based Hicks Thomas LLP is a premier litigation firm representing plaintiffs and defendants across the nation. With offices in Houston, Austin, Beaumont and Amarillo, Texas, and Sacramento, California, the firm provides in-depth experience in cases involving oil and gas, environmental, complex commercial, toxic tort, construction, products liability, corporate governance, securities, banking, insurance coverage, transportation, trade secrets and business litigation. Visit the firm at http://www.hicks-thomas.com.