ATA set to appeal parts of L.A. port ruling to Supreme Court

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Although the American Trucking Associations was successful in having a ban on owner-operators at the Port of Los Angeles overturned in court, ATA’s board on Tuesday, Oct. 18, voted to authorize appealing other portions of its suit against the port that it did not win.

The vote to authorize the ATA Litigation Center to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t necessarily mean that ATA will appeal. Dan England, newly elected ATA chairman, said at a press briefing following a closed board meeting that the concern was over the precedent on the other items.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Sept. 26 unanimously overturned a ban on owner-operators at the port, but also upheld several regulatory port requirements relating to truck parking, financial capability, maintenance and placard requirements.

The port said it would refrain from enforcing the employee driver provision and would continue to enforce all other facets of the concession agreement, which the port requires in order for trucking companies to haul freight to and from the port as part of its Clean Trucks Program.

While ATA hailed the court’s decision regarding independent contractors as a victory for the trucking industry and consumers, Robert Digges, ATA chief counsel, said the organization believes “the other challenged provisions of the concession agreement should have been preempted, as explained in a strong dissent by the panel’s chief judge. Should we appeal, that dissent will be very helpful to our effort.”