Transportation litigation is a unique niche that requires constant attention. Court rulings are constantly rendered regarding Carmack coverage, pre emption, double payment, freight loss and other issues. Often liability decision are highly fact specific, requiring close analysis of the facts, relationship of the parties, and governing law and jurisdiction.
As longtime members of the the Transportation Lawyers Association, we maintain contact with a net work of transportation attorneys throughout the United States, as well as in house counsel for various shippers, forwarders, brokers, and consignees.
We have litigated transportation cases in many of the Ohio state courts, as well as both of Ohio's federal district court divisions. Many of the cases are inherently interstate, requiring depositions and investigation in many jurisdictions around the county, to which we readily travel.
Whenever possible, we search for cost effective methods to resolve freight claims up front. At times, negotiation or mediation can resolve the dispute, while in others there is no alternative but to proceed to trial, where we are experiened both in trials to the court and to a jury. Often pre litigation strategies are valuable, especially in contract drafting, which are described more fully in our transportation general counsel portal infra.
Typical Subject Matter
4 Freight claims 4 Deficient loading
4 Temperature Abuse 4 Cargo theft
4 Hostage Loads 4 Outdated contracts
4 DOT 4 Agent Misconduct
4 Broker Liability 4 Limitations of liability
4 Shipper Liability 4 Insurance
4 Consignee Liability 4 Stolen Identity
4 Incomplete BOLs 4 Salvage Rights
4 Carmack Proofs 4 Broker Subrogation
4 Jurisdiction and Venue 4 Removal Rights
4 Employee Classification 4 Damage Calculations
Within the context of litigation, a multitude of strategies must be considered, as experienced transportation attorneys know. Threshold questions arise regarding jurisdiction and venue, and often pre emption, especially where opposing counsel lacks experience with Carmack pleading. Often forgotten at the outset is the need to preserve evidence regarding a freight claim, the details of which are often forgotten or misplaced months down the road after many superceding loads are transported. Immediate preservation of evidence can pay off significantly as the case is litigated. Strategic use of motions for summary judgment too will often provide a basis for early disposition of the case, and a savings in litigation costs.
Proper attention to salvage rights and mitigation of damage issues are critical, and must be dealt with at the very inception of the claim too. Improvident decisions at this juncture may translate into higher risk and exposure later in litigation.
In recent years, we have obtained notable rulings on a multitude of important transportation issues, including rulings that:
a Upheld a directed verdict in a jury trial involving broker liability vis a vis freight forwarder liability in six million dollar jet engine claim.
a Upheld removal from state court to federal court on numerous cases where diversity or a federal question existed.
a Upheld Ohio long arm jurisdiction over a Canadian based party that opposed jurisdiction
a Upheld freight broker rights to subrogate shipper claims for collection of cargo damage
a Upheld insurance policy terms providing for break down of refrigerated units
a Clarified Ohio law regarding double payment of freight charges
a Upheld legal distinction recognized for a freight broker and a motor carrier
a Upheld federal pre emption and application of the Carmack Amendment
a And dozens more involving transportation freight claims, cargo claims, broker liability