Two of the federal cases that OOIDA and truckers had pending against motor carriers concerning possible violations of truth-in-leasing regs were settled recently: Mayflower Transit and FFE Inc. both agreed to make cash payments.
In the FFE case, truckers contended that the company made unlawful deductions from owner-operators’ compensation; unlawfully administered escrow money; failed to disclose and comply with compensation provisions of the regs; forced purchases; and made undisclosed, undocumented and excessive chargebacks against drivers’ settlement sheets.
Originally filed in January 2006, class-action status was denied in the case. The suit was settled in September this year with FFE agreeing to pay three named plaintiff truckers amounts between $550 and $2,250. FFE also agreed to pay a portion of the truckers’ attorney’s fees.
The case against Mayflower Transit was a class action and included all independent owner-operators who were leased to Mayflower or its agents and who terminated those leases during the time from Feb. 16, 1996, through the conclusion of the case, and who had state fuel tax credits withheld in an escrow account.
In September, the federal judge in the case granted preliminary approval of Mayflower’s “offer of judgment” to pay the class members a total of $194,220 of fuel tax escrow funds. A hearing is set for Nov. 14 when the judge is expected to give final approval. LL
– By Coral Beach, staff editor