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FREDERICK A. CATAGNUS ET AL. v. COUNTY MONTGOMERY (01/27/88)

decided: January 27, 1988.

FREDERICK A. CATAGNUS ET AL.
v.
COUNTY OF MONTGOMERY, A. RUSSELL PARKHOUSE, PAUL A. BARTLE AND RITA C. BANNING, COMMISSIONERS, MONTGOMERY COUNTY SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. A. J. CATAGNUS ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in the cases of A.J. Catagnus, Inc., et al. v. County of Montgomery, et al., Nos. 81-14262 and 81-14123.

COUNSEL

Francis Recchuiti, Vangrossi and Recchuiti, for appellants.

Andrew L. Braunfeld, with him, R. Bruce Morrison, Masterson, Braunfeld, Himsworth & Maguire, for appellees.

Judges MacPhail and Doyle, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 130]

Frederick A. Catagnus and other private trash haulers*fn1 (Appellants) appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County which dismissed their "Motion for a Preliminary Injunction to Enforce Settlement Agreement" against the County of Montgomery (County). We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Starting in 1971, the County began to operate two adjacent landfills for the purposes of waste reception and trash removal.*fn2 The property upon which these landfills were located is owned by Smith Kline-Beckman Corporation (SKB). Landfill No. 1 was closed for the purpose of accepting solid waste in 1983. On July 19, 1984, the County Commissioners ordered Landfill No. 2 (Landfill) closed as of August 20, 1984 to all individuals and entities with whom the County did not have a written contract for waste disposal. Their action was taken to extend the life of the Landfill.

[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 131]

Following the Commissioner's decision, Appellants and others brought multiple suits in equity seeking to enjoin the County from closing the Landfill. Trial of these consolidated actions was commenced on January 8, 1985, with Appellants' case-in-chief starting on January 21, 1985. Two days later, Appellants' counsel was excused from the proceedings so that he could enter into settlement discussions with the County.

Soon after, a settlement was reached. The agreement set forth that:

(a) the petitioner-plaintiffs would terminate their participation in the trial of January, 1985.

(b) the petitioner-plaintiffs would withdraw an action brought against Montgomery County and other municipalities which the petitioner-plaintiffs had filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, No. 84-6222.

(c) the petitioner-plaintiffs agreed that they would commit all solid waste collected by them to Montgomery County's proposed solid waste recovery ...


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