NEVADA RECYCLING AND SALVAGE, LTD., A NEVADA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; AND AMCB, LLC, A NEVADA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, D/B/A RUBBISH RUNNERS, Appellants,
RENO DISPOSAL COMPANY, INC., A NEVADA CORPORATION, D/B/A WASTE MANAGEMENT; REFUSE, INC., A NEVADA CORPORATION; AND WASTE MANAGEMENT OF NEVADA, INC., A NEVADA CORPORATION, Respondents.
from a district court order granting summary judgment in an
unfair trade practice dispute. Second Judicial District
Court, Washoe County; Patrick Flanagan, Judge.
Street Law Group and Stephanie R. Rice, Delmar L. Hardy, and
Richard A. Salvatore, Reno, for Appellants.
Law PC and Mark G. Simons, Reno, for Respondents.
THE COURT EN BANC.
case arises out of an alleged violation of the Nevada Unfair
Trade Practice Act (UTPA). Appellants claim that respondents
conspired with a third party to obtain exclusive franchise
agreements with the City of Reno for the collection of waste
and recyclable materials. According to appellants, this
conspiracy precluded them from receiving a franchise
agreement with the City of Reno. The question presented in
this appeal is whether appellants have been injured in their
business and therefore have standing to assert their claim
under the UTPA.
conclude that appellants lack standing to bring an antitrust
claim because they were unable to show that they suffered any
injuries (i.e., damages). Accordingly, we affirm the district
court's order granting summary judgment in favor of
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Nevada Recycling and Salvage, Ltd. (Nevada Recycling) and
AMCB, LLC, d/b/a Rubbish Runners (Rubbish Runners), brought
this suit in district court under the Nevada Unfair Trade
Practice Act for injunctive relief and treble damages. Nevada
Recycling operates a facility that accepts, processes,
recycles, and disposes of waste and recyclable materials.
Rubbish Runners collects, hauls, and disposes of waste and
recyclables for commercial accounts within the City of Reno.
The gist of the complaint is that respondents Reno Disposal
Company, Inc. (Reno Disposal), Refuse, Inc. (Refuse), and
Waste Management of Nevada, Inc. (Waste Management), who are
also collectors, haulers, and disposers of waste and
recyclables for commercial accounts within the City of Reno,
entered into a conspiracy with nonparty Castaway Trash
Hauling (Castaway) for the explicit purpose of monopolizing
the waste and recyclables market in the City of Reno.
City of Reno was looking to implement a single-stream
recycling service. Reno Disposal proposed that the City of
Reno create exclusive service areas whereby waste haulers
would have an exclusive privilege to collect and dispose of
waste and recyclable materials within their assigned area.
The City of Reno agreed, and it was determined that Reno
Disposal and Castaway would each receive exclusive commercial
franchise agreements, servicing all of Reno.
ordinances representing the franchise agreements were drafted
and the Reno City Council conducted three public hearings in
which the terms and conditions of the ordinances were
discussed. At the first reading of the ordinances, Rubbish
Runners spoke in opposition to the proposed ordinance,
concerned that the ordinances would put it out of business.
In addressing Rubbish Runners' concerns, carve-outs and
exemptions were included in the ordinances that allowed
Rubbish Runners to keep its existing customers upon
verification of its customers' contracts. Under the
proposed ordinances, Rubbish Runners would not be allowed to
expand to new customers and it was not allowed to haul
certain types of materials. The ordinances were subsequently
Waste Management purchased Castaway and acquired all of
Castaway's rights and duties held under the ordinance.
Pursuant to authority granted under the ordinance, Waste
Management then assigned its rights and duties held under the
ordinance to Reno Disposal. As a result, Reno Disposal had
exclusive rights to collect waste and recyclables in the City
of Reno subject to the exemptions made for Rubbish Runners
under the ordinance.
the district court, appellants argued that respondents
conspired with Castaway to create an illegal monopoly for
Reno Disposal. Reno Disposal and Refuse moved for summary
judgment, and Waste Management filed a joinder to the motions
for summary judgment. The district court granted summary
judgment in favor of respondents, concluding that the
Noerr-Pennington doctrine applied because
respondents' conduct involved political and not business
conduct. See Eastern R.R. Presidents Conference v. Noerr
Motor Freight, Inc., 365 U.S. 127 (1961); United
Mine Workers of Am. v. Pennington,381 U.S. 657 (1965).
In addition, the district court concluded that, in terms of
damages, appellants lacked standing to assert an UTPA claim
because they ...