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Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and TransportationThe newsletter of the ISBA’s Section on Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications & Transportation Law

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Newsletter articles from 2002

6th Circuit allows DOT to require organized motor carrier records By William D. Brejcha May 2002 The United States Court of Appeals backed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's ("FMCSA") insistence that motor carriers produce organized records to its auditors in A.D. Transport Express v. United States, 202 WL 104797 (6th Cir. 2002).
7th Circuit affirms withdrawal liability judgment against sole proprietor owner of withdrawing motor carrier By William D. Brejcha June 2002 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has affirmed a judgment entered against a sole proprietorship found to have been a commonly controlled trade or business with a motor carrier employer assessed with ERISA withdrawal liability in Central States, Southeast & Southwest Areas Pension Fund v. Neiman, Case Nos. 01-1964 and 01-2379 (7th Cir., April 2, 2002).
7th circuit finds federal law bars pension fund trustee from collecting owner operator ERISA contributions By William D. Brejcha May 2002 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently decided an important case concerning motor carrier obligations to contribute to union trust funds for their independent contractor owner operators in Mazzei v. Rock-N-Around Trucking, Inc., 246 F.3d 956 (7th Cir., 4/6/2001).
Carmack preemption bars shipper’s state claims By William D. Brejcha October 2002 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of state court causes of action which a couple had asserted against a motor carrier in Smith v. United Parcel Service, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 13972, 2002 Fed. Car. Cos. &84,242, decided July 11, 2002.
Carmack removal proper where household goods were stolen from storage By William D. Brejcha October 2002 The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has held that removal of a state court complaint arising out of a theft of household goods from storage after a New York to California household goods move was proper in Newens v. ORNA Services, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10685, 2002 Fed.Car.
District court enforces cargo damage liability limitation By William D. Brejcha May 2002 The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee has issued an important decision concerning cargo loss and damage liability limitation in EFS National Bank v. Averitt Express, Inc., 164 F. Supp. 2d 994 (8/31/01).
District Court finds interstate drivers exempt from FLSA’s overtime provisions By William D. Brejcha August 2002 The U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois has rejected a claim for overtime pay brought by employees of a Decatur newspaper under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in Barron v. Lee Enterprises, 2002 WL 113790 (C.D. Ill. 2002).
District court rejects broker liability in Carmack suit By William D. Brejcha May 2002 The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland has rejected a shipper's Carmack Amendment cargo loss and damage claim against a broker in Professional Communications, Inc. ("PCI") v. Contract Freighters, Inc., 171 F.Supp. 2d 546 (D.MD 10/17/01)
Log violations fail to support damage award By William D. Brejcha May 2002 The Georgia Court of Appeals has affirmed a jury verdict for a motor carrier in a personal injury case where the driver had committed log violations in Parker v. R&L Carriers, 2002 WL 203765 (GA App. 2002).
Seventh Circuit rejects punitive damage recovery based on truck driver’s intentional driver log falsification and excessive driving By William D. Brejcha February 2002 The U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago has affirmed a defense summary judgment on a punitive damage claim arising from a truck driver's alleged habitual sleep deprivation and intentional log falsification in Purnick v. C.R. England, Inc., 269 F.3d 851 (7th Cir., 10/19/01).
Seventh Circuit reverses ERISA award for Central States By William D. Brejcha February 2002 The U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago has reversed a sixteen million dollar ($16,000,000) withdrawal liability judgment against the owners of a bankrupt motor carrier in Central States, Southeast And Southwest Areas Pension Fund v. White, 2001 W.L. 818782 (7th Cir., July 20, 2001).
Seventh Circuit reverses tax court on transportation law issue By William D. Brejcha February 2002 The U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago reversed a decision of the Tax Court on an important transportation tax law issue in U.S. Freightways Corp. v. IRS, No. 00-2668 (11/6/01).
Seventh Circuit tackles Carmack jurisdictional issues in botched bedroom furniture move By William D. Brejcha February 2002 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has affirmed in part and reversed in part a trial court dismissal of a combination RICO/state fraud/ Carmack Amendment claim that arose out of a botched purchase and move of a purportedly Italian made set of walnut bedroom furniture in Pizzo v. Bekin Van Lines Company, 2001 WL 818772 (7th Cir. July 20, 2001).
Supreme court finds courier drivers to be employees, not independent contractors: is the decision valid under current transportation law? By William D. Brejcha February 2002 The Illinois Supreme Court has resolved the latest battle over whether drivers who lease their autos to courier or messenger companies are either employees or independent contractors in Illinois unemployment compensation cases before the Illinois Department of Employment Security ("IDES") in AFM Messenger Service Inc. v. IDES, No. 89984 (11/20/01).
Surface Transportation Board exempts non-carrier acquisition of railroad property August 2002 Surface Transportation Board (Board) Chairman Linda J. Morgan announced on May 22, 2002 that the Board has issued a decision granting the Utah Transit Authority's (UTA) motion to dismiss, as unnecessary, UTA's verified notice of exemption from Board regulation to acquire almost 63 miles of the Union Pacific Railroad Company's (UP) railroad right-of-way and certain related improvements located in Davis, Webster, Salt Lake and Utah Counties, Utah.
Surface Transportation Board issues decisin on use of arbitration to resolve disputes June 2002 Surface Transportation Board (Board) Chairman Linda J. Morgan announced various steps the Board has taken to address the appropriate role of arbitration in resolving disputes involving railroad matters on May 22, 2002.
Surface Transportation Board proposes new procedures October 2002 Surface Transportation Board (Board) Chairman Linda J. Morgan announced on September 3, 2002 that the Board is instituting a proceeding to amend its regulations to further expedite the resolution of large railroad rate challenges that come before it.
Third circuit finds railroad to be Carmack shipper By William D. Brejcha October 2002 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit found a railroad to be a Carmack Amendment shipper in Union Pacific Railroad Co. v. Greentree Transportation Trucking Co., 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 11372 and 2002 Fed. Car. Cases &84,234, p.58,182, decided May 16, 2002
U.S. imposes new safety rules for motor carriers By William D. Brejcha June 2002 The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed an interim final rule to establish new minimum requirements for American and Canadian applicants for new motor carrier operating authority.
U.S. Supreme Court accepts certiorari in two trucking industry cases By William D. Brejcha August 2002 The U.S. Supreme Court has accepted certiorari in two cases from the trucking industry.