Transportation Law

Experience That Makes A Difference In Transportation Litigation

Last updated on February 12, 2022

Transporting goods across the country is a multibillion-dollar industry that keeps America running. Much of that activity originates at shipping docks in Southern California. The port of Los Angeles and the port of Long Beach are the two busiest container ports in the U.S.

An industry that large utilizes a vast number of businesses and generates a huge amount of legal issues. Finch Tetzlaff LLP helps transport companies address and resolve a wide range of legal issues that arise, empowering them to focus on their business objectives and succeed.

Attorney Brent Finch has extensive experience handling a wide range of disputes regarding California and interstate goods transportation, storage and cargo. Mr. Finch has represented several national van lines and their local agents as well as a national transportation broker in federal and state court actions.

A Closer Look At The Carmack Amendment

The Carmack Amendment exclusively governs an interstate carrier’s liability for loss and/or damage to goods in interstate commerce. It preempts state law claims for breach of contract, fraud and negligence. A shipper may only recover the actual loss of value of his goods at the destination.

For intrastate claims, California law governs. A bill of lading (the moving contract) and/or a storage contract may limit the liability of a carrier to 60 cents per item per pound, but a carrier may have significant exposure on fraud, conversion and gross negligence claims.

The Carmack Amendment does not afford protection to a transportation broker. A broker may be liable if it fails to reasonably perform due diligence on the carriers it engages for the shippers it contracts with. We have significant experience representing client’s involving the Carmack Amendment.

Past Successes

Finch Tetzlaff LLP has a record of producing positive outcomes for its transportation clients. These success stories include:

  • Prepared winning appellate response brief in 9th Circuit appeal in a case interpreting the Carmack Amendment for a national van line. White v. Mayflower Transit, LLC, 543 F.3d 581 (9th Cir. (Cal.) 2008)
  • Won a summary judgment resulting in a published decision for a national van line in United States District Court, Central District of California interstate commerce case. Allstate Ins. Co. v. Mayflower Transit, LLC, 616 F.Supp.2d 1003 (C.D. Cal. 2009)
  • Favorably settled numerous moving and storage contract claims and false advertising cases for local agents of a national van line involving commercial and household goods

See more of Finch Tetzlaff LLP‘s case results by clicking here.

Your Solution Starts With A Consultation

We invite you to contact us online or call (818) 436-6411 to schedule a consultation. We will review the facts of your case, answer your questions and provide a candid assessment of what you can expect.