In December 2004, OOIDA was granted a complete victory in its class action suit against Ledar Transport and its subsidiary, Hawthorn Leasing.
The case centered on numerous violations of the federal truth-in-leasing regulations and failure to include certain required provisions in their lease agreements. Of particular importance in the case was that the claims were not only against two companies, but also against the companies’ three corporate officers, Carl, Norma and Scott Higgs.
OOIDA argued that because of the way the Higgses both dominated and ignored the corporate structure legal requirements, and worked together to do so, the three were individually liable for Ledar’s violations of the truth-in-leasing regulations.
In one of the most important decisions OOIDA has obtained in its pursuit of unscrupulous carriers, the U.S. District Court agreed with OOIDA and declared that Ledar Transport and Hawthorn Leasing, along with company officers Carl Higgs, Norma Higgs, and Scott Higgs in their personal capacity, are all liable for violations of the federal truth-in-leasing regulations.
Damages of just less than $1 million were set by the judge for return to owner-operators leased to Ledar, but the Higgs trio managed to avoid payment of any of the judgment against them. In addition, they have refused to answer the post-judgment disclosure of assets.
So, with sheriffs and an armada of tow trucks, OOIDA descended upon the Ledar offices Dec. 2, 2008, to begin the process of attaching assets to satisfy the judgment. On that morning, two tractors, a utility vehicle and one of the owner’s personal pickup trucks were seized and hauled off.
OOIDA has attached other assets that the Association has been able to identify and still has several court motions pending, which will go a long way in its efforts to force disclosure of further assets of the company and its owners.
– By OOIDA staff