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Published: Wednesday, 7/12/2006

Fremont firm sues to gain storage funds

A Fremont warehouse company has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Toledo to determine "custody" of 840,000 pounds of a glass-like mineral it has been storing - and thus who owes for the storage.

In its lawsuit, R.P. Sweeney Warehouses says several companies claim ownership of the Vitrolite it has stored since early 2005. Sweeney says it is owed about $58,000 for storage, plus $3,500 a month in the future, and thousands in attorney fees.

Named as defendants are VitroTech Corp., a manufacturer in Santa Ana, Calif., and its VitroCo Inc. unit; Enviro Investment Group LLC and Red Rock Canyon Mineral LLC, both of Los Angeles; VitroTech Product Distributor LLC, of Dover, Del., and five other entities in California and in Toronto.

A spokesman for the Sweeney firm declined to comment yesterday. However, Steven Rothschild, a Toledo lawyer who filed the suit, said the company wants to determine ownership before relinquishing the materials.

According to the filing, one distributor valued the Vitrolite, used in manufacturing paints, coatings, and chemicals, at $1.1 million.

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