By Mike Scarcella
(Reuters) – Stericycle Inc has won a court order in Chicago federal court, temporarily blocking another medical waste disposal and document shredding company from “falsely” claiming any affiliation with Stericycle and from contacting its customers.
U.S. District Judge Mary Rowland’s order on March 7 said Stericycle, which owns the document destruction company Shred-it, was “likely to prevail on the merits” of its unfair-competition and trade-secret theft case against Allied Holdings Group LLC.
Stericycle filed the lawsuit on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The judge set the next hearing in the case for April 11.
Illinois-based Stericycle, which had $2.7 billion in revenue last year, sued Allied seeking unspecified monetary damages and permanent injunctive relief. The legal case alleged employees of Allied were pretending to be tied to Stericycle to get unidentified clients to drop the company.
Stericycle had about 148,000 regulated waste disposal clients in the U.S. last year, the company said.
Lawyers for Utah-based Allied at Hall Prangle & Schoonveld and a representative from the company on Thursday did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Stericycle’s attorneys at Vedder Price and a company spokesperson also did not immediately comment.
The lawsuit said Allied had brought on several Stericycle employees in recent years.
The complaint alleged Allied was orchestrating a “campaign of unfair competition designed to steal Stericycle customers by deceiving those customers as to Allied’s affiliation or association with Stericycle.”
The lawsuit did not name Stericycle clients but said “Customer B” and “Customer C” were “large, long-term customers of Stericycle, collectively responsible for millions in annual fees to Stericycle.”
The complaint said it was not publicly known that Stericycle had contracts with the two unnamed clients, an indication that the company’s proprietary business information was allegedly being abused.
The case is Stericycle Inc. v. Allied Holdings Group LLC, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 1:23-cv-01322.
For Stericycle: Jonathon Reinisch and James Garvey of Vedder Price
For Allied: Eric Schoonveld and Matthew Kaminski of Hall Prangle & Schoonveld
(Reporting by Mike Scarcella; editing by Leigh Jones)