Antero, Mountain Water Services suing each other over billing inconsistencies
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – In a lawsuit between a gas drilling company and a Rifle-based water hauling firm, the two sides are accusing each other of cheating in numbers that range from $175,000 to $10 million.
The suit, filed in August by Mountain Water Services LLC (MWS), alleges that the firm is owed $175,000 by Antero Resources for water transportation and other services rendered between December 2008 and May 2009.
But Antero in September filed counterclaims that, among other things, essentially deny most of the accusations and claims made by MWS, and accuse the company of overbilling for its services over a span of time stretching from late 2006 through mid-2009.
During that period, Antero claimed in its suit, it paid MWS “approximately $10 million in waste water delivery service fees.”
But, Antero’s suit continues, “rather than charge Antero for the actual delivery runs that occurred and the service provided, Mountain Water repeatedly overcharged Antero for waste water transport … and … for other services.”
Examples of the MWS overcharges include “situations where one truck was supposedly conducting two delivery runs at the same time” and “invoices where a given driver was driving for twenty-four consecutive hours.”
Plus, according to Antero’s papers, “Antero was billed for dozens or hundreds of instances in which Mountain Water’s truck drivers drove for more than 11 hours in one day, in direct violation” of state and federal laws governing commercial trucking.
The Antero document states that the corporation is not certain about how much it was overcharged by MWS.
Attorney Richard Dally of Denver, representing MWS, said it is possible that Antero paid his client some $10 million for services over the eight years he said the two had a contractual relationship.
Dally said Antero did pay most of the bills submitted by MWS over those years, but that the payments became irregular and a balance due began to grow.
“When it got to $175,000, that was it,” he remarked, explaining that the unpaid balances reached that level in spring 2009.
The suit was filed, he said, after negotiations between the two parties produced no settlement.
“Antero is, shall we say, flexing their muscles,” Dally maintained, with what Dally termed “a rather fantastical allegation” of fraud and overbilling by his client.
An attorney for Antero, Matt Johnson of the Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell law firm in Denver, declined to comment about the case.
Although MWS asked that a judge decide the case, Antero has demanded a jury trial, according to the court documents.
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