A U.S. District Court judge has granted a motion for certification of class filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) in the second of its two complaints brought against Ledar Transport Inc. of Kansas City, MO.
OOIDA, with members Daniel Day, David Horn, Kenneth Reinsch and Jason Buckallew filed the lawsuit against Ledar in March 2000 claiming numerous violations of the federal truth-in-leasing regulations and failure to include certain required provisions in their lease agreements. In November 2000, U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. (for the Western District of Missouri) issued a preliminary injunction in the case prohibiting Ledar from doing business with leased trucking equipment until its lease conformed to federal regulations. An amended complaint filed by OOIDA in May 2001 named Hawthorne Leasing, Carl E. Higgs, Alice Norma Higgs and Scott L. Higgs as additional defendants.
OOIDA and its plaintiff members petitioned the court for class certification of the case arguing the alleged violations of leasing regulations were common to approximately 900 owner-operators leased to Ledar. Judge Gaitan concluded that OOIDA and the owner-operators had met all the prerequisites needed for class certification in this suit and granted their motion. He also agreed that OOIDA would remain a member of the class in representing the interests of owner-operators.
In doing so Judge Gaitan also denied motions by Ledar and the other defendants to dismiss the case.
OOIDA President Jim Johnston said after the ruling, "This case continues to be an encouraging example of the court's recognition of the rights of the small business trucker in his/her relationship with a carrier. We are very pleased with Judge Gaitan's decision and we look forward to the opportunity of seeking relief from the alleged violations on behalf of a substantial number of owner-operators."