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CHAMBERS DEV. CO. v. MUNICIPALITY OF MONROEVILLE

September 13, 1985

CHAMBERS DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
MUNICIPALITY OF MONROEVILLE, ANTHONY LAGORGA, MARSHALL W. BOND, DANIEL ASTON, AND FRANK J. BRUNNER, JR., trading and doing business as VALLEY SANITATION, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEBER

 AND NOW, this 13th day of September, 1985, in accord with the accompanying opinion, IT IS ORDERED that:

 1. The motions of all defendants to dismiss Counts I and II are GRANTED;

 2. The motions of all defendants to dismiss Counts III, IV, and V are GRANTED without prejudice to plaintiff's filing an amendment as to those Counts on or before September 30, 1985;

 3. Motions to dismiss pendant state law claims, Counts VI and VII are DENIED without prejudice to their renewal following further development of the evidence. Count VIII, a trade disparagement claim, has been withdrawn.

 OPINION ON MOTIONS TO DISMISS

 This is an action alleging antitrust, RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), and civil rights violations, as well as pendant state law claims of interference with contractual and business relations, civil conspiracy, and business libel. Plaintiff is engaged in the business of garbage collection and disposal and operates a landfill in Monroeville, PA. The action was brought against the Municipality of Monroeville, a councilman, a manager, and a fire official of the Municipality, and one of plaintiff's competitors in the garbage collection and disposal business (hereinafter referred to as Valley). All defendants have filed motions to dismiss the complaint as well as alternate motions for more definite statements. All oral depositions and subpoenas for production of documents have been stayed in this case pending the determination of these motions. The parties have supplied the court with briefs in support of their respective positions. We now address all motions to dismiss, accepting the facts for purposes of these motions in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.

 I. ANTITRUST CLAIMS - Counts I and II

 Plaintiff alleges that defendants entered into contracts, combinations, and conspiracies in restraint of trade in violation of § 1 of the Sherman Act, as well as § 2 monopolization, attempts to monopolize and conspiracy to monopolize.

 A. "STATE ACTION" EXEMPTION

 The Municipality and its officials claim a "state action" exemption from antitrust laws as set out in Parker v. Brown, 317 U.S. 341, 87 L. Ed. 315, 63 S. Ct. 307 (1943). The Parker doctrine rests on principles of federalism and is principally applied to states. The doctrine also applies to those actions of municipalities that are taken pursuant to a clearly expressed state policy. *fn1" Municipal defendants indicate that the challenged activities in this case are expressly permitted under the Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act, 35 P.S. § 6018.202 as follows:

 (b) In carrying out its responsibilities, any such municipality may adopt ordinances, regulations and standards for the storage and collection of municipal wastes which shall be not less stringent than, and not in violation of, the rules, regulations, standards, and procedures of the department . . .

 (c) Municipalities may contract with any person or other municipality to carry out their responsibilities for the collection, transportation, processing and disposal of municipal wastes, provided that the ultimate disposal is ...


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