Railroads accused of price-fixing ask for lawsuits to be moved to one court

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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RT&S has been reporting on alleged price fixing by four Class I railroads – BNSF, Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern and CSX. Our most recent story can be found here and our first story can be found here. A group of nearly 40 shippers accuse these major U.S. railroads of fixing prices based on fuel surcharges, but add that the extra charges are really based on freight rates, as opposed the the actual cost of fuel.

Freightwaves reports today that the railroads involved have asked that the proceedings around the lawsuits be transferred to either the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia or the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas,  instead of the 16 U.S. District courts within the U.S. where they’ve been filed so far.

The number of lawsuits filed on this issue around the country stems from an ongoing suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia as to whether shippers can even file a class action lawsuits against the railroads on this issue.  A U.S. District Appeals Court ruling in August 2019 said that shippers are required to file separate lawsuits instead. That resulted in the nearly 40 separate lawsuits that have been filed since August.

Freightwaves also reports that the U.S. Judicial Panel on multi-district legislation, or MDL, will address the issue on January 30 in Tampa, Florida.

RT&S will continue to monitor and report on this story as events warrant.

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Categories: Class 1, Freight, Railroad News, Regulatory
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