Tenant says Cellect shutting off utilities at St. Johnsville plant
ST. JOHNSVILLE A lawsuit filed earlier this month reveals strained relations between two companies that are significant employers in western Montgomery County.
M.S. Stallman Co. alleges Cellect Plastics LLC has been shutting off electricity, propane and water services that fuel roughly 25,600 square feet of space at the massive factory building on New Street.
Stallman alleges Cellect, which leases the space to the company, is in breach of the lease agreement that governs its use of the facility.
The company is seeking at least $200,000 from Cellect to pay for lost profits, operating losses and “costs and expenses incurred due to [Cellect CEO Scott] Smith’s malicious interference with Stallman’s business.”
Smith said Tuesday he was unable to comment because the suit is still in the courts. Stallman CEO Jim Stallman could not be reached Tuesday, and Stallman attorney Richard C. Maider declined comment.
According to the lawsuit, filed April 2 in state Supreme Court in Montgomery County, Cellect shut down propane to the facility on July 6 and 7, 2011, and on Jan. 12 and 16, 2012. The suit also alleges Cellect shut down water service July 8-12, 2011, and then shut down electricity, propane and water from March 20 through early April this year.
The shutdowns cost Stallman $2,520 in profits and $4,487.30 in operating losses each day, the suit contends.
Cellect Plastics, which employed 65 people at the start of 2011, makes polyolefin foam products that are considered raw materials for items fabricated by the Stallman Co. Stallman makes products for the medical, packaging, automotive and furniture industries, according to its website.
The lawsuit provides no explanation for the shutdowns, aside from stating “Cellect’s actions were intended solely for the purpose of taking advantage of its superior position and to gain an upper hand over Stallman.”
The lawsuit further alleges Smith has been contacting Stallman’s 12 employees and threatening them with personal liability if they were to violate nondisclosure agreements, resulting in “reduced productivity.”