The Future of Freight – Part I: A Blog Series About CH Robinson and Federal Preemption | Porter Rennie Woodard Kendall LLP


Miller v. CH Robinson Worldwide, Inc., one of the most significant lawsuits in recent history for the trucking industry, is currently on appeal to the United States Supreme Court. In that case, defendant broker CH Robinson asserted that 49 USC § 14501 (the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act, 1994, “F4A”) prevails over plaintiffs’ state law claims. The implications of this case could ring for years to come, as the court determines whether trucking brokerage firms can face claims under state law for acts of negligence by motor carriers to which they claim. brokers charges. This blog series will review the impact of the different decisions involved in the Miller v. CH Robinson Worldwide, Inc., from the district court, through the appeal process, to the implications of the court’s final decision.

Despite the inclusion of the word “Aviation” in its title, section (c) (1) of the F4A preempts motor carriers, brokers or freight forwarders from any state law that is “related to price, route. or a service… with regard to the transport of goods. In addition, section (b) (1) of F4A grants a general rule that no state or political subdivision, or agency of two or more states, may promulgate or enforce any law, rule, regulation, norm. or any other provision affecting the interior of a State. routes or services of freight forwarders or brokers. Courts have applied F4A preemption to a wide range of state claims, from freight claims to class actions to personal injury cases.

A lawyer seeking to use the pre-emptive defense must closely examine the state law claim presented to determine whether the facts support a pre-emptive defense due to the state’s limitation or force to change the “price”. , route or service ”of a road carrier. The pending decision Miller v. CH Robinson provide advice on F4A preemption to lawyers and businesses.


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