Follow by Email

Thursday, March 28, 2013

OOIDA vs CR England - Is it really over?

Article thanks to Samuel Barradas at which you can link to below:

The legal battle that has lasted over a decade is finally over. Judge Ted Stewart of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah signed his name for (hopefully) the last time to a final judgment in favor of the truckers who brought the suit. All in, they were awarded more than $1.3 Million. The judgment is final, but C.R. England still has 30 days to appeal the ruling. Until those 30 days are past, no money will be dispersed.

The class action lawsuit was filed by OOIDA on behalf of the truckers back in 2002, but didn’t go to trial until 2006. Once the judge ruled in favor of the drivers, a flurry of accounting, appeals, and blatant stall tactics drew out the final ruling until just now. Considering how little the ruling awarded, CRE probably spent more on their legal defense and accounting services than they would have just paying the $1.3 Million up front. Because of their indifference over wasting time and money, it is still up in the air whether or not CRE will decide to challenge the final ruling.
Similar to how legendary mobster Al Capone was finally jailed on charges of tax evasion, the suit brought against CRE was an attempt to deal with a much larger problem by using a relatively small infraction. Knowing that they wouldn’t be able to do any damage to CRE by just saying that their business practices were manipulative, wrong, and tantamount to theft, they instead brought a case saying that CRE had violated federal Truth-in-Leasing regulations by misusing drivers’ escrow funds.

“There were several good precedents that came out of this case that will serve us well going into the future, “said OOIDA President Jim  Johnston, “and obviously we are pleased that we won the suit. But the object of most of our class action cases is to correct practices, make it better for drivers. In this case, we don’t see that C.R. England has changed many of their practices, and we feel there are still many drivers who are taken advantage of under the arrangement with CRE.”

Johnston’s objections reinforce the true purpose of the suit, not to get CRE to pay a token fine and go back to the way things were, but to force them and other mega-carriers to do business in a more honest way. CRE has apparently cleaned up their act in terms of properly managing money in escrow, but the lease programs that they and other mega-carriers offer are still just as deceptive and wrong. Whether or not that will change anytime soon is anyone’s guess.

No comments:

Post a Comment