If it’s dented, is it worthless?

National Motor Freight Traffic Association and its National Classification Committee are challenging in federal appeals court the Surface Transportation Board’s decision to eliminate antitrust immunity for the NCC’s classification-making activities effective Jan. 1, 2008. STB on May 7 issued a decision regarding motor carrier bureaus that would, among other things, eliminate antitrust immunity for NCC’s classification-making activities, effective Sept. 4. Earlier, NMFTA requested and was granted a 120-day reprieve.

Ontario Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield announced July 3 that the province’s government will introduce legislation after its fall election to mandate speed limiters set at 105 km per hour (65 mph) for virtually all tractor-trailer units that operate into, out of and within Ontario.

A new Indiana law imposes stiff fines and possible jail time for traffic violations in highway work zones. A first offense for speeding will draw a $300 fine, followed by $500 and $1,000 fines for second and third offenses within three years. Reckless or aggressive driving will incur fines of up to $5,000. Drivers who injure or kill a highway worker could serve up to eight years in prison and draw fines of up to $10,000.

Con-way Transportation Services will receive royalties from RegScan from sales of HazMat Manager/Loader, which was based on a hazmat transportation management product developed by a Con-way employee, but not from another product, HazMat Trucking Enforcer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled. The decision upholds a jury verdict in a breach of contract lawsuit filed by Con-way.

QAs an auto hauler, we brokered a load to another hauler who was in an accident caused by a third party. The car being transported suffered $4,000 of actual damage, but the new car manufacturer has decided to crush the car, filing a claim for its full invoice amount. The auto hauler we hired claims it is not liable for the full value of the car, and his insurer agrees. The manufacturer now has offset the full claim against us. What do we do?

A This question involves an issue of mitigation of damages and a situation that is somewhat unique to the new car hauling business. Many automobile original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) insist by contract that carriers waive mitigation and allow them to decide when a damaged automobile is a “constructive total loss.” Allegedly, the auto manufacturers do not want damaged, but repaired, new cars in the marketplace because of future liability concerns.

This concept violates general principles of federal transportation law as set forth in the Carmack Amendment, 49 U.S.C.