June 26, 2007 8:30 AM, EDT

OOIDA, C.R. England Claim Partial Victory in Class-Action Suit

Truckload carrier C.R. England and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association each claimed partial victory after a federal district court ruled on a case involving federal truth-in-leasing regulations.

The judgment came following a two-week trial last October. The ruling relates to lease agreements entered into with owner-operators between June 1998 and August 2002, OOIDA said.

C.R. England said the court found that its current agreement, in place since 2002, does not violate the federal truth-in-leasing regulations.

“We are pleased with the Court’s ruling that our current agreements with our lease drivers are completely lawful and that our drivers can know that there is no issue with their contracts,”  Dan England, the company’s chairman, said in a statement.

The court rejected OOIDA’s request for millions of dollars relating to charge-backs and certain required purchases and gave no monetary award to the class relating to those violations, England said.

Some of U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart’s ruling was favorable to OOIDA and the class, the drivers’ group said.

Stewart found that C.R. England’s Independent Contractor Operating Agreement violated the charge-back, forced-purchase and escrow provisions of the leasing regulations, OOIDA said.

OOIDA originally filed the case against C.R. England in June 2002 along with five of its owner-operator members. It was certified as a class action in August 2005.

C.R. England is ranked No. 42 on the Transport Topics 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.