Necessary for the survival of any carrier or logistics company is the need to be compensated for transportation services. Because claims arising under interstate transportation contracts can be subject to multiple tariffs, special venue requirements, unusual time limitation statutes, and other related issues, the litigation of such claims is best undertaken by counsel experienced with both the law and the industry. Knowing how and when tariffs apply, especially within the context of rail transportation, can literally mean millions of dollars for the client. This is a proven advantage that we continuously provide to our clients.
Cohen & Palombo attorneys are particular adept in the recovery of freight charges from shippers or consignees, who have already paid an intermediary that has absconded with these funds, or simply went out of business and failed to pay the carrier which transported the freight. These "double payment" cases can be quite contentious due to the business relationships involved and considering that the shipper or consignee has already paid the charges once. We are the go to law firm prosecuting these cases in state, federal and bankruptcy courts nationwide.
Norfolk Southern Railway Company v. Basell USA, Inc., 512 F.3d 86 (3d Cir. 2008). In vacating the limited recovery afforded by the judgment of the district court, the U.S. Court of Appeals held that our client had introduced evidence probative of a material breach of a transportation contract with discounted rates. Upon remand, the district court ruled that the contract had been voided by the material breach of the defendant, thereby allowing our client to re-rate the freight moves and collect $2,586,031 in tariff charges.
CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Ken's Foods, Inc., 310 F. Supp. 3d 254, 256 (D. Mass. 2018). On summary judgment, the court rejected the ultimate consignees’ equitable estoppel defense. The court held that a consignee on collect shipment remains liable to railroad for freight charges where the consignee pays an intermediary who fails to pay the carrier even when the intermediary is designated as the bill to party on bills of lading and the intermediary had a credit agreement with the delivering railroad. As such, our client was entitled to recover the full amount of $728,917 plus interest and attorneys’ fees according to the applicable tariff.