Judge certifies class in short mile case against Swift Transportation

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 8/20/2013

An Arizona Superior Court judge has certified a class action lawsuit in the short mile case against Swift Transportation Co., originally filed back in 2004.

Lead plaintiffs’ attorney, Leonard W. Aragon, of the law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLC, told Land Line on Aug. 19 that the judge essentially certified two classes of drivers, including employee drivers and owner-operators, who contracted with Swift.

The class has been defined as owner-operators who contracted with Swift after March 6, 2001, and as employee drivers, who worked for the company after April 9, 2009.

Aragon said class action notices have been mailed out to more than 62,000 drivers.

The lawsuit filed back in 2004 claims that Swift used the Household Mover’s Guide to pay drivers based on a estimated mileage calculation software program, instead of paying drivers for the actual miles they drove. The lawsuit alleges drivers’ pay may have been shortened by 7 to 10 percent based on HMG calculations.

“From what we have heard, they really haven’t changed this process at all,” Aragon said. “They have other mechanisms by which they could calculate actual miles driven, but they just don’t use those methods.”

Aragon said drivers who worked for Swift during the class periods, but did not receive a notice, should call 866-677-4812, or write to In re Swift Transportation Inc. Administrator, c/o KCC Class Action Services, P.O. Box 43190, Providence, RI 02940-3190, or visit the website for more information.

“Some of the population is fairly transitory, so they need to let us know if their address has changed,” he said.

Members of the class have until Sept. 13 to decide whether to remain part of the class (do nothing) or ask to be excluded and maintain their right to sue Swift separately.

After several delays in the case, Aragon said it’s finally moving forward again.

“Swift has tried to delay this several times. It went up to the Arizona Supreme Court, and it went up to the Court of Appeals twice, but things are going to start moving fairly quickly over the next six to eight months,” he said.

Recently, Arizona Superior Court Judge Richard Gama appointed a “special master” to help oversee the discovery process after Aragon said Swift provided a witness that wasn’t prepared.

“Discovery is now taking place, the special master has been appointed, and he’s going to oversee and make sure Swift gives us what we need,” Aragon said.

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