A company owned by the Pro Football Hall of Fame who is driving back Jerome Bettis has sued an energy company for alleged racial discrimination, charging it again on promises made in connection with its minority-owned company and seeking at least $ 66 million in compensation.
The company being sued, Pittsburgh-based EQT Production Co., denies the lawsuit's allegations and says it ended its relationship with Mr. Betty's business because its mismanagement led to many security breaches.
In 2017, Pittsburgh-based natural gas company EQT Production Co. contacted a water company owned by a white man to form a minority-owned company that would drink water for EQT, according to the lawsuit filed last week in IntegrServ LLC v. EQT Production Co.
EQT proposed the business partner with retired Pittsburgh Steeler Bettis, who with his brother John owns Pittsburgh-based Bettis Bros. Sand and Gravel LLC, a 1
Bettis Bros. began providing sand and gravel services to EQT and its contractors in September 2017, the complaint said.
The company later formed a new company, IntegrServ, it was 51% owned by Bettis Bros., with the remaining shares distributed between the water company and the company's CEO.
EQT assured IntegrServ that it would guarantee contracts for at least five years, and approved IntegrServ's plan to use subcontractors, the complaint said.
It requested that IntegrServ use as many different subcontractors as possible, but many of the owners of the company that hired the drivers were new to the truck business "causing administrative difficulties for IntegrServe", the complaint said.  It said that the company was told by EQT that it expected IntegrServ “to work through these administrative difficulties, as it was a corpus to have as many minority suppliers as possible prioritize for EQT.
In early August 2019, an IntegrServ truck had a rollover, and later that month, one of its minority-owned subcontractors discovered that one of its drivers had a gun in his truck and he was stopped. [19659002LatemonthEQTterminateditsagreementwithservicesanditspurchaseorderreferringtosecuritybreacheswith175monthsremainingunderthepurchaseorder
"EQT's different treatment of IntegrServ and similarly located white-owned contractors reveals that racial discrimination was the reason for EQT's termination of the IntegrServ contract," the complaint states.  EQT said in a statement, "IntegrServ's action is completely without merit and contains a number of false statements. In fact, EQT is demonstrably committed to the diversity of service providers. By 2020, about 12% of our total supplier expenses to date – a total of about $ 40 million – have gone to over one hundred minority-owned companies.
"IntegrServ's contract was terminated, together with a number of other contracts from non-minority companies, as part of a program to drive efficiency and accountability in EQT's operations. IntegrServ has also mismanaged its performance of the contract, which led to many security deficiencies.
"We are disappointed that IntegrServ has chosen to respond by making serious, unjustified allegations against the EQT management and we will vigorously defend ourselves against this unjustified lawsuit.