Envtl. Dimensions, Inc. v. EnergySolutions Gov't Grp., No. 1:16-cv-1056-KWR-JHR

CourtUnited States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
PartiesENVIRONMENTAL DIMENSIONS, INC., Plaintiff, v. ENERGYSOLUTIONS GOVERNMENT GROUP, INC. (n/k/a Atkins Energy Government Group, Inc.), Defendant.
Docket NumberNo. 1:16-cv-1056-KWR-JHR
Decision Date14 February 2020

(n/k/a Atkins Energy Government Group, Inc.), Defendant.

No. 1:16-cv-1056-KWR-JHR


February 14, 2020


THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for partial Summary Judgment on Plaintiff's Unfair Trade Practices Act claim [Doc. 103], filed November 21, 2018. Having reviewed the parties' pleadings and the applicable law, the Court finds that Defendant's motion is well-taken and, therefore, is GRANTED.


This action arises from a dispute involving a nuclear waste remediation project the parties worked on together at Los Alamos National Lab ("LANL"). Plaintiff is in the business of providing environmental resources and radioactive waste management and containment support to the U.S. Department of Energy and other government agencies. The company is managed predominately by its Vice President, Michael Bradshaw ("Bradshaw"). Plaintiff engaged in a bidding process for qualification to contract with Los Alamos National Security, LLC ("LANS") to perform transuranic waste remediation work at LANL.

Defendant's LANS Contract: Master Task Order 10

Defendant provides nuclear waste remediation and personnel support. In 2009, two years

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before contracting with Plaintiff, Defendant worked as prime contractor with LANS on a transuranic waste remediation project designated as Master Task Order 10. The project was completed on June 30, 2014. Plaintiff was not a party to that agreement. On February 14, 2014, an incident occurred at the Carlsbad Waste Isolation Pilot Plant facility when an improperly packaged waste drum, packaged by Defendant at LANL, underwent an exothermic reaction and burst, causing a radiological release ("WIPP incident"). The DOE Accident Investigation Board (AIB) investigated the incident and issued a report on April 15, 2015. The report pinpointed twelve contributing factors leading to the accident, including, among other things, LANS' failure to adhere to certain controls implemented by the relevant field office, LANL's failure to develop appropriate packaging and treatment procedures, and failure of LANS, Defendant, and the Los Alamos field office to ensure a strong enough safety culture. The report stated that Defendant's actions were possible contributing factors to the accident but stated that none of the contributing factors individually caused the accident.1

Master Task Order Agreement No. 2

Unrelated to Defendant's Master Task Order 10 project, on July 12, 2011, in pursuit of qualification to bid on a LANL contract for small businesses, denominated as Master Task Order Agreement No. 2 ("MTOA2"), Plaintiff executed a Teaming Agreement with Defendant, specifying the duties and responsibilities of the parties should the bid be accepted. The Agreement included that, "[e]xcept as expressly provided ... all rights and obligations of the parties under this Agreement shall terminate on the earliest of the following: ... e. Execution by both parties of the subcontract contemplated by this Agreement." (Doc. 99 Ex. G).

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In February 2012, Plaintiff was qualified as a potential contractor, but no work was assigned at the time. The LANS' MTOA2 agreement with Plaintiff provided that "Contractor [LANS] may, at any time, without notice to the sureties if any, by written Change Notice unilaterally direct additions, deletions or changes . . . to all or any part of the Work and Subcontractor agrees to perform such work as changed." (SOF 7).

After its successful qualification, Plaintiff subcontracted with Defendant and two other companies to carry out assigned work. Plaintiff executed the subcontract with Defendant in August 2013. On April 16, 2014, LANS awarded Plaintiff work under MTOA2 Task Order 1, with a maximum potential allocation of $23,349,876.42. LANS retained the right to modify this amount. LANS incrementally released funds for the project to Plaintiff amounting to $4,839,421.76. Work began on the project in July 2014.

Plaintiff's employees, project manager Chris Edgmon ("Edgmon") and COO/VP of business development John Rodell ("Rodell")2 were tasked with coordinating the work. Edgmon was responsible for managing the project on a day-to-day basis by scheduling work, budgeting, and approving invoices submitted by the subcontractors, which in turn were submitted to Rodell for review and approval. Bradshaw had little involvement in the day-to-day operations of the project, and most decisions were largely left to Edgmon and Rodell.

Defendant took on a larger role than the other subcontractors in performance of the work, consequently billing for a larger share than the other subcontractors. It is undisputed that Defendant only carried out work authorized by Plaintiff; that Defendant submitted six invoices dating from March 10 - August 11, 2015 amounting to $1,057,354.63, for which it was not paid; and that Plaintiff submitted invoices to LANS for the same work and received payment. On May

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12, 2015, Bradshaw sent a letter of cure to Defendant stating Defendant was not in compliance with the terms of the Teaming Agreement and that "[i]n spite of repeated attempts by EDi to realign the staffing to meet the TA [Teaming Agreement] goals, EnergySolutions continued refusal has forced us to take action... [i]f this matter is not resolved by Friday May 15, 2015, any work [going forward] performed by EnergySolutions above and beyond 35% is done so solely at EnergySolutions' risk." (Doc. 111 Ex. 2). After Bradshaw's letter, Plaintiff continued to assign work to Defendant, which it performed until LANS terminated the underlying Task Order by letter on May 27, 2015, stating that "[t]he TRU waste program has reduced the scope and budget for SSR activities this fiscal year and for the next two fiscal years. As a result, the current and long term scope included in EDi's Task Order 275074 will be removed in full with the exception of the warehousing leasing applicable to this removed scope of work." (SOF 16).


Summary judgment is appropriate "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). Initially, the moving party bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Shapolia v. Los Alamos Nat'l Lab., 922 F.3d 1033, 1036 (10th Cir. 1993) (citations omitted). Once the moving party meets its initial burden, the nonmoving party must show that genuine issues remain for trial "as to those dispositive matters for which it carries the burden of proof." Applied Genetics Int'l Inc. v. First Affiliated Secs., Inc., 912 F.2d 1238, 1241 (10th Cir. 1991) (citation omitted).

A fact is material if it could have an effect on the outcome of the suit. Smothers v. Solvay Chems., Inc., 740 F.3d 530, 538 (10th Cir. 2014). A dispute over a material fact is genuine if the evidence presented could allow a rational jury to find in favor of the nonmoving party. EEOC v.

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Horizon/CMS Heathcare Corp., 220 F.3d 1184, 1190 (10th Cir. 2000). A court is to view the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of that party. Shero v. City of Grove, 510 F.3d 1196, 1200 (10th Cir. 2007). A court cannot weigh the evidence...

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