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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Hubert Walker v. Trailer Transit, Inc. (SD Ind., Pratt), a 5-page opinion, Judge Easterbrook writes:

Trailer Transit relies on in dependent truckers, which following the parties’ convention we call the Drivers (though they also provide the rigs that carry the cargo). Trailer Transit contracts with shippers for the movement of cargo, then contracts with Drivers to pro vide transportation. It promises Drivers 71% of the gross revenues, with exclusions. * * *

In this suit a class of about 1,000 Drivers contends that Trail-­‐‑ er Transit made a profit on its “special services” and owes 71% of that profit to the Drivers. The district court held oth-­‐‑ erwise. 1 F. Supp. 3d 879 (S.D. Ind. 2014); 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20250 (S.D. Ind. Feb. 19, 2015). * * *

The whole of the Drivers’ position is that they are entitled to a slice of any net profit on special services, and the contract provides no support for that.

Hubert Walker, the representative plaintiff, furnished services to Trailer Transit for seven years. He must have found the remuneration satisfactory. Only in retrospect did he look for more, filing this suit about two years after haul-­‐‑ ing his last load. The judiciary does not rewrite contracts af-­‐‑ ter the fact to favor one side. Walker and the other Drivers might have insisted on receiving some part of the profit from special services (and then perhaps Trailer Transit would have offered less than 71% of the gross), but that’s not what this contract says. AFFIRMED

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 1, 2016 05:56 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions