U.S. District Court upholds class certification for OOIDA, denies Mayflower Transit appeal

| 12/20/2001
A U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a Mayflower Transit Inc. motion to appeal the class certification order granted to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) in its two complaints against the Fenton, MO, motor carrier. One of the suits claims violations of the federal truth-in-leasing regulations by the carrier's failure to return fuel tax credits on a current basis and to return fuel tax credits and other funds held in escrow accounts to owner-operators within the required time period after their lease agreements had expired. The other suit alleges that Mayflower unlawfully overcharged the owner-operators for insurance products purchased through Mayflower, which is also a violation of federal truth-in-leasing regulations. The complaints were filed by OOIDA along with several of its owner-operator members. On Nov. 5, U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker (for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division) ruled in OOIDA's favor on the issue of the class certification in both suits. In that ruling, Judge Barker concluded that OOIDA and the owner-operators had met all the prerequisites needed for class certification and had established definitions of the class for each suit. Mayflower petitioned for permission to appeal the class certification ruling based on arguments dealing with the court's definitions of the class and the extent of Mayflower's liability where its agent van-operators were concerned. In its review, the Court of Appeals found nothing wrong with the trial court's earlier decision and denied the carrier's motion, clearing the way for the trial case to continue.