Court ruling teaches carriers a lesson
Mar 1, 2008 12:00 PM
Apex Capital is reminding all of its motor carrier clients to always make certain their names appear on the bill of lading as the transporting carrier before hauling a load. A recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a case emphasizes the importance of this simple — but often overlooked — procedure.
In this case, Oak Harbor Freight Lines Inc. sought payment of freight bills totaling more than $400,000 from Sears Roebuck & Co. when the broker that arranged for transportation of the freight, National Logistics Corporation, failed to pay Oak Harbor. Sears denied liability and told Oak Harbor that NLC was responsible for payment. Sears had already paid NLC more than $200,000 of the freight charges.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals followed decisions in three of its sister circuits — the Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits — in finding in favor of Oak Harbor that “a shipper should bear the risk when it chooses to pay for freight charges through a broker rather than directly to the carrier.”
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