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US shippers file lawsuits against big rail alleging price-fixing

FOUR Class I railways, Norfolk Southern, BNSF, CSX and the Union Pacific, have been named in shippers' lawsuits addressing fuel surcharges, reports American Shipper

US shippers file lawsuits against big rail alleging price-fixing

FOUR Class I railways, Norfolk Southern, BNSF, CSX and the Union Pacific, have been named in shippers' lawsuits addressing fuel surcharges, reports American Shipper

07 October 2019 - 19:00

FOUR Class I railways, Norfolk Southern, BNSF, CSX and the Union Pacific, have been named in shippers' lawsuits addressing fuel surcharges, reports American Shipper.

The lawsuits allege that between 2003 and 2008, the railways engaged in price fixing by assessing fuel surcharges and saying they were part of a fuel cost recovery programme, thus violating the Sherman Act.



More than two dozen lawsuits may have been filed last week on the issue, according to research conducted via PACER, an online database of court filings.



Plaintiffs range from power companies such as Ameren Missouri, Duke Energy Carolinas and Dominion Energy, to chemicals and energy suppliers such as Eastman Chemical and Phillips 66, to automakers such as KIA and Hyundai.



The multiple filings could be related to a federal appeals court ruling on August 16, in which the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit upheld a previous decision that prevented rail shippers from being able to form a class action lawsuit to argue against alleged fuel surcharge price fixing.



As a result of the DC Appeals Court decision, rail shippers would have to file lawsuits individually and within a certain time if they still wanted to pursue the issue.


WORLD SHIPPING

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