Excused from court
A U.S. District Court granted summary judgment in favor of a truck rental company that said it should not be part of a cargo damage lawsuit. (Maass Flange Corp., USA v. All–State Hot Shot LLC, et al. M.D. Louisiana. No. 12–727. June 3.)
Maass contracted with All-State to haul two forklifts from Mississippi to Texas. One of the forklifts suffered $60,000 in damage when the trailer carrying it passed beneath an overpass.
Maass sued under the Carmack Amendment, which imposes liability on motor carriers for loss or damage to goods in interstate transit.
National moved for summary judgment saying that while it owned the truck at issue, it only rented the truck to an individual on behalf of All–State and the driver of the truck was not a National employee.
National contends it was merely a bailor and the driver and All–State were bailees.
The court said under Louisiana law, the negligence of a bailee cannot be imputed to a bailor.
National also argued that while the Carmack Amendment governs claims against “carriers” and “freight forwarders,” it does not apply to “brokers.”
National asserted it holds itself out as a rental agency for independent drivers, and thus, cannot be held liable under Carmack. The court agreed.
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