Transportation Brief: Spotlight on Cargo Claim & Freight Charge Practice — Managing the Expected & Unexpected in the COVID-19 Era
August 6, 2020
When COVID-19 struck, shippers, brokers, and carriers had to stay focused on the immediate challenges of the pandemic. However, as we settle into the current “new normal”, cargo claims are back on everyone’s radar — including claims related to the pandemic (e.g., claims where a shipment was handled by a person who later tested positive; or claims where a shipment was unexpectedly delayed due to a local shutdown or similar issue). Consideration must be given to whether an act of God or act of government authority applies, whether the contract contemplates pandemics as a force majeure event, and whether insurance exists for the cause of the claim.
In addition, the first wave of COVID-19 related bankruptcies has begun — from Hertz to Cirque de Soleil. When assessing exposure to potential or actual customer bankruptcies, transportation and warehouse service providers should be careful not to increase their exposure to financially unstable clients and take action to minimize their exposure both before the bankruptcy filing and immediately thereafter.
The Firm’s Cargo Claim & Freight Charge/Collection group regularly assists clients with exposure mitigation and receivable recovery in these areas. If you expect the unexpected and prepare your game plan in advance, you can be prepared for these issues and minimize your exposure to cargo claims, customer bankruptcies, and other collection issues.
Scopelitis Partner Craig Helmreich directs the Firm’s Cargo Claim & Freight Charge/Collection practice with assistance from Kathleen Jeffries, Michael Tauscher, Andrew Marquis, Greg Ostendorf, and Tyler Biddle.
Transportation Brief: Key Cases Addressing the Reach of California’s Strict Wage and Hour Laws
by Christopher J. Eckhart , Gregory M. Feary , James H. Hanson , Adam C. Smedstad
On a certified question from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the California Supreme Court decided a pair of cases that will certainly impact California wage and hour class actions against motor carriers. Read more from Scopelitis regarding what this means for the transportation industry.
Transportation Brief: COVID-19 and Workplace Liability
by Shannon M. Cohen , Gregory M. FearyAs companies reopen, a primary concern is liability for workers or customers who may claim to have been exposed to COVID-19 in their business. This may arise as a workers’ compensation claim, a claim for negligent sanitation or failure to implement or enforce social distancing measures. Read more about these evolving pandemic-related issues.
Transportation Brief: Plaintiffs Unmask Reimbursement Claims for Personal Protective Equipment
by James A. Eckhart , E. Ashley PaynterSeveral states require employers to reimburse employees for expenses incurred on the job. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, several class action law suits have already been filed seeking to recover costs related to personal protective equipment (PPE) workers have purchased for use while on the job. Read more about what transportation companies operating in states with reimbursement statutes should do to ensure compliance.
Transportation Brief: PPP and Beyond: Where Can I Turn For Additional Help?
by Steven A. Pletcher , Prasad SharmaThe Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), although credited with helping the economy stay afloat and keeping workers employed, has not been a model of clarity. A constant drip of new rules and guidance, leaves many questions unanswered. Read the latest.
Transportation Brief: Department of Labor Activity
by David D. RobinsonThe U.S. Department of Labor has been active through a tumultuous first half of 2020. While the Department’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has garnered most of the attention, there have been important developments in other areas. Read more related to employment perks and benefits, and determining joint employment, the Final Rule updating the Retail and Service Worker Exemption.
Transportation Brief: Circuit Courts Grapple with the “Transportation Worker” Exemption
by Braden K. Core , Prasad Sharma , Ryan W. WrightThe Supreme Court’s holding in New Prime has not been the death knell for the transportation industry’s efforts to enforce arbitration agreements under the FAA. Instead, the fight has moved to another element of the exemption, namely, whether the individual belongs to a class of workers engaged in interstate commerce. Read more about the First Circuit's ruling, unsettled questions on this topic, and the potential for transportation arbitration cases to appear on the Supreme Court's docket in the future.
Transportation Brief on the Record: News from Scopelitis - Eckhart Passes California Bar
Christopher J. EckhartPartner Chris Eckhart has passed the California Bar. Learn more about Chris and his work in Scopelitis' Class Action Practice.
Transportation Industry News & Trends