Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Transportation Law

Chicago district court grants summary judgment to shipper on negligent entrustment claim By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, April 2014 On February 26, 2014, U. S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer issued an opinion granting summary judgment to shipper Central Steel & Wire Company, Inc. on a negligent entrustment/selection claim in McComb v. Bugarin, et al.
Chicago district court grants summary judgment to shipper & broker in injury litigation By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, March 2014 A discussion of Scheinman v. Martin’s Bulk Milk Service, Inc.
Interstate trucking litigation—Deposing the Safety Director By Dennis M. Lynch Tort Law, February 2014 A highlight of some interesting topics of questioning for safety director depositions, with examples from recent cases.
Chicago district court rejects claimed FAAAA preemption regarding intrastate regulation of for-hire trucking By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, December 2013 A summary of the recent case of Nationwide Freight Systems, Inc., et al. v. Thomas Baudino.
Peoria, Illinois trial court rejects Sperl-based claim that a motor carrier & driver were the “agents” of broker C.H. Robinson on a Robinson-brokered load By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, April 2013 This trial court decision is a well-reasoned decision that stands out as a case where plaintiff efforts to impose liability on a broker or shipper for carrier negligence/ misconduct were not successful.
Six tips for assisting the commercial driver with a traffic ticket By Jeremy J. Richey Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2013 Some helpful advice for the practitioner to consider when accepting the commercial driver as a client.
New Jersey District Court dismisses owner operators’ FLSA class action claiming employment status By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, October 2012 A summary of the recent case of Vaudral Luxama v. Ironbound Express, Inc.
Seventh Circuit reverses & remands a summary judgment which enforced a motor carrier’s cargo damage limitation in Carmack litigation By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, August 2012 In this the era of pervasive “third party” entity presence in the transportation marketplace, it is not surprising that courts sometimes have difficulty applying the otherwise clear two party (shipper/carrier) principles of transportation law to Carmack litigation involving third and fourth parties. 
IDOT long-range state transportation plan By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, May 2012 On April 30, 2012, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced plans to update its Long-Range State Transportation Plan (Plan), all as required by the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration.
First District rejects agency/negligent entrustment theories of shipper liability in truck/rail collision By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, April 2012 A summary of the recent case of Dowe v. Birmingham Steel Corp.
9th Circuit rejects L.A. port’s owner operator prohibition By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, November 2011 A summary of the recent case of American Trucking Associations, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles.
District court refuses to reconsider Carmack preemption of cargo claim By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, November 2011   In Personal Communications Devices v. Platinum Cargo Logistics, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denied plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration of a partial grant of summary judgment in cargo claim litigation.
Court awards summary judgment for cargo damage and attorney fees in cargo litigation By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, October 2011 A summary of the recent case of Contessa Premium Foods, Inc. v. CST Lines, Inc.
Seventh Circuit vacates FMCSA EOBR rule By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, October 2011 With this court ruling, it is anticipated FMCSA may need to restart the entire mandatory EOBR rulemaking process and rewrite the rule or issue some supplemental ruling that addressed the harassment issue and other issues that have been raised in evaluating the new rule.
New Jersey District Court rejects material deviation claim By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, September 2011 The court noted that PMT needed to show UPS’ intentional destruction or theft of the cargo for the liability limit to be ignored and no such evidence had been presented.
Owner operator not separately liable for cargo damage under state law By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, September 2011 The court found the owner operator lease between Elmore and L&O did not create any separate Elmore duty in tort to Merchants. The action against Elmore.
Res ipsa and wandering cows By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, September 2011 Under the res ipsa theory, the facts at issue must be so egregious that the only way the crash in issue could have occurred would be if someone had been negligent. 
3rd District Appellate Court affirms $23 million personal injury jury verdict against broker C.H. Robinson By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, June 2011 The Sperl v. C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. decision is significant to the extent it holds broker Robinson responsible for the tort of a driver for one of its contracting carriers.
District court sustains freight forwarder/motor contract carrier’s limited liability defense By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, June 2011 A summary of the recent OneBeacon Insurance v. Haas Industries, Inc. case.
Motor carrier defeats HIV-positive driver’s ADA and related claims By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, June 2011 The case of EEOC v. C.R. England, Inc. will be helpful to motor carriers and others as it answers some fundamental questions that arise from the ADA statute which have not been previously addressed in detail by the courts.
Southern District Of California finds home delivery drivers to be independent contractors, not employees By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, June 2011 The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California analyzed each of the ten "common law factors" relating to the drivers’ employment/contractor status, ultimately concluding that plaintiffs’ evidence was insufficient to overcome the Georgia law presumption of independent contractor status for the plaintiff drivers.
Material deviation: A fallacious argument against limitations of motor carrier liability By Craig J. Helmreich and Nathaniel G. Saylor Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, April 2011 Motor carriers and their counsel should consider contract provisions closely—particularly security provisions—and analyze the potential for exposure to claims of material deviation that could be used to avoid bargained for limitations of carrier liability.
Broker wins summary judgment in injury suit By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, March 2011 A look at the case of Brown v. Termain.
New York District Court holds broker not entitled to summary judgment on Carmack cargo claim By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, March 2011 This decision is just one more of the recent decisions where the broker's methods of operation have left it exposed to carrier liabilities to which brokers are not ordinarily exposed.
IDOT answers your questions: Farmers and the Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Agricultural Law, February 2011 The following article, reprinted here from the Illinois Department of Transportation Web site, answers questions regarding how the FMCSR and the IMCSR apply to farmers and those who work for them.
District Court finds household goods cargo claim time-barred By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, June 2010 This case teaches an important point: Carmack cargo damage suits must be filed in a timely manner.
Shipper’s insurers prevail in COGSA litigation By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, June 2010 A look at the recent case of American National Fire Ins. Co. v. MTV Seaboard Victory.
Central District of Illinois finds federal question jurisdiction over interstate based freight charge complaint By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, May 2010 The U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois decided the case of Old Dominion Freight Lines, Inc. v. Old Colony Baking Company, Inc. earlier this year.
District Court finds Carmack inapplicable to domestic leg of international shipment By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, March 2010 If nothing else, this case underscores the importance of how the Supreme Court will resolve the conflicts among the Circuits on the issues being addressed in the pending Regal-Beloit Corp. appeal from the 9th Circuit.
FMCSA bars driver “texting” while driving By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, March 2010 Electronic devices used for texting are prohibited under current FMCSR safety regulations.