Lawsuit over payment of Jasper Co. trash pile cleanup going to bench trial

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT
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JASPER COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - What was once estimated to be 70,000 tons of debris standing 90 feet high in Jasper County, at this point has been cleared for years. The story now shifting from that field to the courts.

DHEC and the State of South Carolina are suing Abel Contracting to get back they money they spent to clear out the field. That was about $5 million of taxpayer money that this lawsuit says should have been the bill for Able Contracting to pay since that private business was responsible for the trash pile.

A statement from DHEC on Monday confirmed that in this civil suit, the parties were “unable to reach an agreement” in mediation and “have stipulated to a bench trial without a jury.”

A look at the court documents shows a timetable that puts the case ready for trial about April 25, 2022.

State Senator Tom Davis spoke with several involved parties today and said he’s looking for two things out of this. F

“I want to see justice afforded. If there’s culpability, I want that established,” state Sen. Davis said.

And if that happens.

“I want there to be a recovery of dollars either from the landfill operator itself or any insurance companies it may have, so that taxpayers’ dollars are recompacted,” he said.

For clarification, state Sen. Davis was asked what the state would do with that money, and he said, if the case is ruled in favor of DHEC, that estimated $5 million of recouped money would be sent into the DHEC Contingency Reserve Fund.

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