Labor & Employment Transportation Civil Procedure

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New Hampshire Court Dismisses Negligent Hiring and Retention Claims as Redundant of Motor Carrier’s Vicarious Liability

A New Hampshire trial court recently ruled that negligent hiring and retention claims asserted against a motor carrier on behalf of persons seriously injured in a multi-vehicle accident are redundant of the motor carrier’s...more

Motor Carriers Face Uphill Battle After California Supreme Court Decision

Harris v. Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc., No. S194388 (July 28, 2014): In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court has held that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) does not...more

Supreme Court Poised to Hear TSA Whistleblower Case

The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) plays a crucial role in our national safety infrastructure. Yet the agency has been subjected to significant criticism — and even been the butt of jokes — for the last several...more

Six Days on the Road and I'm Gonna Park My Truck to Comply with State Laws Tonight

My apologies to Dave Dudley. The song “Six Days on the Road” just doesn’t stand up to the changes we would have to make after the Ninth Circuit’s decision that the state meal and rest break laws are not preempted by federal...more

Third Circuit affirms dismissal of False Claims Act suit, citing contract ambiguity

Ambiguous contract terms are ordinarily a liability for government contractors, opening the possibility of misunderstandings, expensive disputes, and, potentially, unpaid additional work. However, contract ambiguity recently...more

Third Circuit Holds Ambiguous Contract Precludes FCA Liability

The Third Circuit recently upheld summary judgment in favor of the defendant in U.S. Dept. of Transp. ex rel. Arnold v. CMC Engineering, a whistleblower suit alleging the defendant overbilled Pennsylvania’s Department of...more

Illinois Appellate Court: School District’s Subcontracting of Transportation Services is “Part of Bargaining Process” and an...

The Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District recently found that a school district did not engage in any unfair labor practices when it subcontracted student transportation services to a third-party vendor and...more

California Delivery Drivers Gain Employee Status Despite Independent Contractor Agreements

On June 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that home-delivery drivers who transported furniture and appliances for a leading transportation and logistics company under independent contractor agreements...more

Alcoholic Truck Driver Case Is Good For Transportation Employers, But Be Careful

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which hears appeals from federal courts in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, recently affirmed summary judgment for Crete Carrier Corporation. Crete fired one of its truck drivers...more

Delivery Drivers Classified As Employees Despite Signed Agreement Purporting To Establish Independent Contractor Relationship

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, applying California law, concluded that delivery drivers who signed agreements stating they were independent contractors and not employees would still be...more

Delivery Drivers are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Ninth Circuit Rules

Sometimes a title tells you all you need to know. If you listen to the 1969 Pink Floyd track, “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict,” you pretty much know what you are...more

DOT Proposes to Fine Motor Carriers and Others Who Coerce Drivers to Violate Safety Rules

The Surface Transportation Act currently provides commercial drivers with recourse if they are retaliated against for refusing to violate federal motor carrier safety rules. Earlier this month, the Department of...more

Bankruptcy Court Dismisses Class Action DFR Complaint Involving Airline Merger

One deliberately ironic facet of the 2004 film Howard Hughes bio-pic The Aviator (the one with Leonardo DiCaprio) is the fact that the airlines fighting for world dominance in the 1940s were Howard Hughes’ TWA and Juan...more

The Supreme Court’s Ginsberg Decision Could Significantly Affect the Outcome of Motor Carrier Preemption Cases

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that the Airline Deregulation Act (ADA) can preempt even common law claims for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing if such claims relate...more

Transportation Industry Beware: New York Quietly Enacts New Legislation Targeting Worker Misclassification

New York has enacted new legislation, which will have a significant impact on the state’s commercial transportation industry. The legislation was initially made effective on March 11, 2014, but was subsequently amended to...more

U.S. Supreme Court Recognizes Airline Immunity for TSA Reports of Suspicious Behavior

In Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper (Jan. 27, 2014), the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that airlines are entitled to civil immunity for reporting suspicious behavior to the TSA, provided their reports are not “materially...more

"You Like 'To-May-Toe,' I Like 'To-Mah-Toe'" – Distinctions Without a Material Difference: Supreme Court Reverses Lower Court...

The events of September 11 were by no means the first examples of terrorism involving aviation, but they unified the U.S., if not the world, in its effort to make air travel safer. It was in the wake of 9/11 that Congress...more

Supreme Court Finds Air Carrier Immune From Defamation Claim For Reporting Employee’s Outburst to TSA

On January 27, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed a nearly $1.2 million jury verdict for defamation against Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation in a case surrounding the airline carrier’s report about a...more

SCOTUS: Airlines Are Entitled to Immunity under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act Unless Statements Are Materially...

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper, 571 U.S. ---, No. 12-315 (2014), holding that immunity for an air carrier under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, 49...more

California Federal Court Dismisses FCA Case Pursuant to Public Disclosure Bar

In United States and State of California ex rel. Fryberger et al. v. Kiewit Pacific Company, et al., No. 12-CV-02698, 2013 WL 5770514 (October 24, 2013), a California federal court in the Northern District of California ...more

Federal Court in Minnesota Provides Guidance on Non-Injury Retaliation Claims Under FRSA

Granting complete summary judgment to BNSF Railway Co., Chief Judge Michael Davis of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota interpreted and provided the railroad industry with guidance pertaining to the...more

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics Alert: September 2013

In This Issue: Pennsylvania’s Appellate Court Concludes Lifetime CDL Disqualification Was Proper and NLRB's New Ruling Could Spell Trouble in Harassment Investigations Excerpt from Pennsylvania’s Appellate...more

Fifth Circuit Narrows “Adjoining Area” Definition In LHWCA Jurisdiction Test

On April 29, 2013, the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion for the en banc Court in New Orleans Depot Services, Inc. v. Director OWCP, 718 F.3d 384 (5th Cir. 2013) that effectively reformulated the 1972 situs jurisdictional...more

Additional Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies Requirements for Industries Governed by Federal Transportation Laws

The requirement for an employee to exhaust administrative remedies may go beyond filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and state employment agencies. Industry-specific exhaustion...more

The Fifth Circuit Restates Three Duties Vessel Owners Owe Longshore Employees

Under Section 905(b) of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”), a vessel owner owes three duties to longshore employees. In October 2012, the Fifth Circuit granted a summary judgment dismissing serious...more

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