NEW YORK Basel Action Network (BAN) is denying defamation allegations made against it and executive director James Puckett in a lawsuit filed by Intercon Solutions Inc., and in turn has filed a counterclaim against the electronics recycler.
BAN is seeking "declaratory relief to restore BANs full credibility and to recognize that BAN has told the truth in the matter regarding the export of electronics waste to China by Intercon Solutions," it said Tuesday, noting that Intercons case was moved two weeks ago to federal court in Chicago from Cook County (Ill.) Circuit Court.
"BAN intends to vigorously defend itself and its most valuable asset: its credibility," said BAN legal counsel John Phillips of John Phillips Law Group PLLC in Seattle. "BAN is not going to be intimidated by this lawsuit or prevented from pursuing the public interest through objective investigation and reporting of the exportation of hazardous waste to the developing world."
The environmental advocacy group also will be represented by Chicago-based Winston & Strawn LLP.
Intercon Solutions, Chicago Heights, Ill., filed the lawsuit in June, accusing BAN and Puckett of defaming the company by making allegedly false accusations that it shipped hazardous waste to China in 2011 (amm.com, June 29).
BAN last July accused Intercon of illegally shipping containers of hazardous electronics waste to China. A few weeks later, Intercon said it had obtained shipping documents showing it wasnt the shipper (amm.com, July 29, 2011).
An inspection report from China Certification & Inspection (Group) Co. Ltd. showed that one of the two containers held mixed metal automotive parts and not hazardous substances (amm.com, Aug. 5, 2011), Intercon said, but it didnt address details of the one container BAN claimed contained hazardous electronics waste.
A week later, a Hong Kong environmental official confirmed that one container did contain hazardous electronics waste. However, Hong Kongs Environmental Protection Department told AMM that it didnt know who shipped the container and would investigate the matter (amm.com, Aug. 16, 2011). No further details have emerged on the investigation.
Intercons legal counsel didnt respond a request for comment.