Intercon Solutions:chronology

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March, 2002:

Intercon’s Brian Brundage attends EPR2 Conference where BAN first reveals its film Exporting Harm to a stunned industry. He sends a note to all of the participants including BAN wishing to explore opportunities to work together.

May 16th, 2007:

Intercon’s Brian Brundage orders BAN’s two films on export for 100 dollars.

April 30th, 2008:

Intercon’s Kenneth Griggs sends letter to BAN expressing interest in joining Pledge Program.

August 2009:

BAN auditor receives first batch of required documentation from Intercon. BAN had assigned Bill Smith, our auditor to conduct a phone/paperwork audit required for the Pledge Program (prior to Certification Program). Later in the process the audit uncovers anomalies, and BAN contacts Intercon in an attempt to resolve issues. Intercon does not provide a satisfactory response.

September 9th, 2009:

An intermodal container photographed on Intercon property by a BAN volunteer. The container travels to mainland China via Hong Kong. BAN notifies Chinese and Hong Kong customs that a potential violation of the Basel Convention will occur. They were unable to act on this container. BAN was unable therefore to know the contents of the container.

February 26th, 2010:

BAN receives complaint regarding professionalism of BAN auditor Bill Smith.

April 2nd, 2010:

After careful screening by Sarah Westervelt of BAN and auditor Bill Smith, Intercon is rejected as a pledge member due to irregularities are found in Intercon's reported downstream, which are not resolved by Intercon. Sarah Westervelt sends letter to Intercon informing them that BAN is discontinuing their bid to become an e-Stewards pledge member as their downstream cannot be verified.

January 19th, 2011:

Intercon writes BAN indicating they are wanting to become e-Stewards Certified.

March 10th, 2011:

In a follow-up investigation independent of rapidly progressing audit process, BAN photographs two more containers on Intercon property, one bound for Hong Kong and one for Dalian, China. BAN notifies Competent Authorities of China and Hong Kong. Only Hong Kong authority EPD takes action.

April 25th, 2011:

Container believed to have arrived in Hong Kong on April 25th. Hong Kong customs checks containers sent by Intercon, and reported it as containing CRTs and batteries, and promptly sent it back to the US. It is unknown whether Hong Kong took action against the importer.

May 26th - June 10th, 2011:

HK Container arrives back at port of Long Beach and was picked up by “consignee”, quickly emptied and returned to depot in Long Beach.

June 16-17, 2011:

Stage 2 Audit for Intercon. BAN decides to witness Intercon’s e-Stewards audit. On the first day of the audit, an Opening Meeting was conducted as usual. That was followed by a Plant Tour, also customary. BAN and auditor confirmed that the pictures in the Evidentiary File were actually taken at the Intercon site. The auditor asked the CEO (Brian Brundage) to come into the conference room for a review of Management Policies and Responsibility. Only the Management Representative accompanied him. CEO was asked whether the company engaged in any exporting. Answer: "no." Next question: "have you ever engaged in exporting." The answer was "we have never exported since we have been at this location." Then, Auditor presented the Evidentiary File, and gave CEO a chance to read. Then Auditor asked for an explanation. CEO's answer was quick and direct. "Those are not our containers, and I don't know how they got there." CEO was given the option to terminate or continue the audit. He chose to continue, which we did.

June 17th, 2011:

Mr. Lewis Mendoza, Manager, LKQ, Chicago Heights., the co tenant on the Intercon Property writes BAN to explain that the photographed containers did not belong to LKQ, that LKQ does not export to China, and believes that the containers belonged to Intercon Solutions. And that Intercon Solutions regularly parks intermodal containers around their facility

June 28th (approx), 2011:

Jim calls Brian Brundage asking him if he wants to change his story in any way prior to our making a decision of what to do. He sticks by his story of the containers on his property belonging to somebody else.

June 29, 2011:

BAN sends letter to Brian Brundage and the Final Evidentiary Report notifying him of his suspension from the e-Stewards program for a period of two years in accordance with our critical non-conformity policy and the reasons why.

July 3rd, 2011:

Intercon files Petition for Presuit Discovery against CMA CGM Shipping line allegedly so they can sue the persons that parked a container on their property and then exported it.

July 5th, 2011:

BAN sends press release to media about Intercon being caught exporting and the denial of certification to Intercon Solutions. Intercon is delisted by R2 Solutions, a competing certification body. E-Scrap News and other Trade journals runs the story.

July 6th, 2011:

Intercon files petition for pre-suit discovery against shipping company CMA CGM America, to seek papers on the container attempt to show that they did not ship the containers. Story of petition and Intercon denial publicized by Intercon and was picked up by Trade Press including Environmental Leader

July 14th, 2011:

BAN releases FAQ to trade press to respond to denials by Intercon and includes an FAQ.

July 26th, 2011:

Court rules CMA CGM must release shipping records to Intercon. Documents do not have Intercon's name on them. On July 28th they are produced. BAN has never seen these documents even though the whole point as stated by Intercon was to send them to BAN to clear their name.

July 5th, 2012:

Intercon relisted as R2 certified.

July 5, 2011 – Ongoing:

BAN contacted by various whistleblower former employees telling the same story. That Intercon never recycled anything and exported and landfilled everything they received.

June 27th, 2012:

Intercon files suit against BAN and Jim Puckett, claiming defamation and false light. Press release follows next day.

June 28th, 2012:

BAN issues statement saying we stand by our past statements and will defend ourselves rigorously.

July, 2012:

Intercon re-listed on roster of e-scrap processors certified to the R2 standard.

July 10th, 2012:

BAN issues rebuttal to false statements made by Intercon Solutions in their press and lawsuit due to unfavorable press reports.

July 25th, 2012:

Jim Puckett served at his home.

Sept 4, 2012:

BAN launches countersuit against Intercon, invoking anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) laws meant to prevent baseless & purposefully burdensome lawsuits.

August 28, 2013:

Judge rules Intercon defamation lawsuit can continue. BAN's request to have case tossed out was denied and BAN's countersuit dismissed.

September 30, 2013:

BAN appeals dismissal of anti-SLAPP countersuit.

January 14, 2014:

Amicus Brief filed by numerous major media outlets (e.g. National Public Radio, CNN, the Washington Post, Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, and Time Magazine) in support of BAN's appeal.

June 29, 2015:

BAN's appeal denied by U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

October 9, 2015:

Intercon's defamation suit against BAN is dismissed with prejudice in United States District Court for Northern Illinois.