Judge Rules Against RRs in Fuel Surcharge Case

Four Class 1 railroads lost their bid to exclude certain evidence from litigation involved fuel surcharges the railroads imposed.

Judge Paul Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against the carriers who argued that federal law allowed them to communicate to discuss interline agreements.

However, Judge Friedman said accepting this interpretation of the law in question “would extend its protection to discussions or agreements involving competing traffic,”

The judge said “this interpretation is inconsistent with Congress’s stated purpose to protect limited categories of discussions and agreements that concern interline movements.”

The lawsuit involves more than 200 shippers and names as defendants BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific.

The suit alleges that the railroads improperly agreed to impose the fuel surcharges starting in 2003.

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