Lawsuit Update
OOIDA filed class action against Allied Van Lines

Mike Schermoly

On May 5, 2004, OOIDA filed a class-action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Allied Van Lines Inc. and one of Allied’s authorized agents, TFC Inc. OOIDA filed the suit along with two owner-operators, Rodney Rockwell of Urbana, IL, and Patrick MacVittie of Rantoul, IL, on behalf of all similarly situated owner-operators. Rockwell and MacVittie are both leased to TFC Inc., which is based in Peoria, IL. The complaint alleges that Allied Van Lines, through TFC, and TFC have directly engaged in a pattern of conduct that violates their obligations under the truth-in-leasing regulations.

The lawsuit first alleges that TFC’s lease agreements do not conform to the federal regulations and, therefore, the carrier is engaged in unlawful provision of transportation services in equipment they do not own. OOIDA maintains that the leases contain a number of non-compliant provisions and, at the same time, fail to include required provisions detailing such things as the return of escrow funds and the responsibility for leased equipment. The complaint also alleges that TFC and Allied had violated the truth-in-leasing regulations through a series of undisclosed, undocumented and excessive chargebacks, its failure to provide rated freight bills, the passing through of the cost of insurance required by the carrier by deducting a percentage of the owner-operator’s linehaul revenue and the failure of the carrier to return owner-operator escrow accounts within the required 45 days after termination of their lease.

Among the requests in its complaint document to the court, OOIDA has asked for damages and an injunction restraining TFC from performing transportation services in equipment it does not own until its written lease agreements are brought into compliance with the federal regulations.