Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is this lawsuit about?

    Plaintiff, Adam Guiffrida, is a resident of the City of Scranton who has paid the City’s annual refuse fee governed by the City’s Refuse Ordinance. On December 15, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Class Action Complaint seeking a declaration from the Court that the City was in violation of the Refuse Ordinance because it had collected monies in excess of the “costs incurred directly for the disposal of refuse”; failed to maintain the refuse fees in a special interest-bearing account; and used the refuse funds for the general welfare of the City. Plaintiff claims that he, as well as all other similarly situated residents, should be entitled to a proportional refund of the difference between the actual cost the City incurred for the disposal of refuse and the amount the City collected each year from January 1, 2014, to the present. The City disputes Plaintiff’s claim and asserts that the fee is commensurate with the actual costs incurred directly for the disposal of refuse. The Court is yet to decide who is right.

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  2. What is a class action?

    A class action is a type of lawsuit in which one or several individuals prosecute claims on behalf of all members of a group of similarly situated persons to obtain Court-ordered relief for the benefit of the entire group. Class actions avoid the necessity of each member of a class having to file his or her own separate lawsuit to obtain relief. Class actions are used to decide legal and factual issues that are common to all members of a class. The Court has permitted this case to proceed as a class action on behalf of all residential property owners who paid the City’s refuse fee between January 1, 2014, and the present. You can obtain a copy of the Court’s Order and Opinion here.

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  3. What are your options?

    Request to Participate in the Class Action:

    You can request to participate in the lawsuit and be represented by Plaintiff and Class Counsel. To do so, you must fill out the Agreement to Participate Form to be a party to the lawsuit. You must complete and return the Agreement by no later than July 25, 2019.

    Do Nothing:

    If you do not want to participate in the Class Certification, or wish to file your own claim either individually or with your own lawyer representing you, there is no need to complete and return the Agreement to Participate Form.

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  4. What are the consequences of the option you pursue?

    • Plaintiff and Class Counsel will Represent your Interests:
      Your interests will be represented by Plaintiff and Class Counsel. This means that if a settlement is reached or Plaintiff is successful at trial, you will be represented by Class Counsel on an individual basis in seeking a refund from the City for any excess refuse fees collected.
    • You Will be Bound by a Judgment:
      If you elect to participate, you WILL BE bound by whatever favorable or unfavorable judgment is entered in the Class Action. This means that if Plaintiff is not successful in the Class Action, YOU WILL BE FOREVER BARRED FROM ASSERTING ANY CLAIM AGAINST THE CITY RELATING TO THE REFUSE FEE.

    Costs and Attorneys’ Fees:

    If you elect to have Plaintiff and Class Counsel represent your interests, Class Counsel will be entitled to recover their attorneys’ fees and costs for prosecuting the lawsuit. Class Counsel will seek up to 25% of the refuse fee refunds obtained for reimbursement for their costs and time spent for both obtaining the right to each individual refund as well as actually obtaining the individual refund. This is because Class Counsel is representing Class members on a contingent basis, which means their compensation depends on successfully obtaining a refund for each person that elects to participate.

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  5. How do I participate?

    If you wish to participate in the Class, please complete the Agreement to Participate. The Agreement must be submitted online here, postmarked, or emailed on or before July 25, 2019 for the request to be valid. It can be returned via mail or email to the following:

    The City of Scranton Refuse Class Action
    P.O. Box 3127
    Portland, OR 97208-3127

    emailIcon Email:

    You must complete and return the Agreement by no later than July 25, 2019.

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  6. What are the consequences of doing nothing?
    1. You will not be bound by a judgment: If you do not elect to participate in the Class, you will NOT be bound by any judgment rendered in the Action, favorable or unfavorable. In addition, you can decide to not assert any claim relating to the refuse fees, or you can bring your own claim based on any other theory either as an individual or through another lawyer.
    2. Attorneys’ fees and expenses: If you decide to bring your own claim relating to refuse fees and retain your own attorney, you WILL BE responsible for costs and attorneys’ fees. If you have any questions about costs and attorneys’ fees that may be owed by bringing your own claim, you should consult with an attorney.
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  7. Who are the attorneys for this class?

    There are three law firms representing Plaintiff and the Class. Their contact information is as follows:

    & BENDESKY, P.C.
    1650 Market Street
    52nd Floor
    Philadelphia, PA 19103
    phoneIcon 1-215-496-8282
    7 Sharon Drive
    Moosic, PA 18507
    phoneIcon (570) 510-2503
    575 Pierce Street
    Suite 202
    Kingston, PA 18704
    phoneIcon (507) 338-6112

    If you have any questions regarding your rights as a Class member or the consequences of the option you wish to pursue, you may contact Class Counsel without charge. You can also obtain more information by calling 1-855-571-5832. Alternatively, you are free to represent yourself or retain your own attorney to represent you in the Action at your own expense.

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  8. Does the city admit guilt?

    This website and the Notice is not an admission by or an expression of any opinion of the Court concerning the merits of the Class Action, or a finding by the Court that the claim asserted by Plaintiff is valid. This website and the Notice are intended solely to advise you of the Action and of your rights in connection with it. There is no settlement or monetary recovery at this time. Defendants have denied Plaintiff’s claim and contend they are not liable.


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