STB Rules Change Seeks to Expedite Rate Cases

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board wants to move along litigation over rail rates and has proposed changing its rules to achieve that.

The proposal includes implementing a 70-day “pre-complaint” period during which the complainant would notify the defendant of the rate and movement it intends to challenge. Mandatory mediation also would occur during that period.

During the discovery process, the proposed rules would require service of the complainant’s and defendant’s initial discovery requests with the complaint and the answer, respectively.

If the new rules are adopted, an STB staff person would serve as a liaison for the case and assist the parties in technical and procedural matters, particularly during the discovery process.

The proposed rules changes stem from a rulemaking process that began in June 2016.

The STB is seeking public comment on the proposed rules.

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