Cindy Simons, a retired librarian from Castro Valley, California, is suing garbage hauler Waste Management. She alleges the company’s three week lockout of truck drivers has created a public nuisance.
She claims that her dog got severely ill from eating rotting garbage. Simons said that Waste Management didn’t pick up her garbage from July 2-23 even though Simons and her neighbors made repeated calls to the company about the increasing piles of trash.
In her lawsuit, Simon says that her 10-year-old golden retriever, Pele, got out of the backyard on July 16, ate garbage that had spilled out of an overflowing can on the street, and became sick.
Simons said that Pele was listless and had a fever. She took him to the vet and Pele was treated with antibiotics and intravenous fluids for dehydration. The vet costs were $400.
From SF Gate:
Company spokeswoman Monica Devincenzi said Thursday that Waste Management will not charge customers for missed services, and those who have already paid their summer bills will be provided refunds or credits for missed pickups once the lockout ends.
She said she had not seen Simons’ lawsuit and could not comment on it.
“We want to make sure our customers are treated as fairly as possible,” Devincenzi said, adding that the number of complaints about missed pickups have gone down in recent days as the company has brought on more replacement drivers and trucks.
Simons’ suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of herself and thousands of other Waste Management customers in the East Bay, seeks monetary damages and restoration of full garbage, recycling and yard waste pickups as well as refunds for missed service for Waste Management customers such as herself.
Simons said Pele is back in good health.
“I thought it seemed so unfair, watching the rotting garbage pile on the street,” Simons said. “When Pele got into it and got so sick, it really made me think this is a health hazard. It’s not a good thing. I’m frustrated and disgusted. I hope that people won’t have to pay for service they didn’t get.”