The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. Inc. (OOIDA) and seven of its members have filed a lawsuit against Landstar System Inc. and its operating companies: Landstar Express America Inc., Landstar Gemini Inc., Landstar Inway Inc., Landstar Ligon Inc., Landstar Logistics Inc. and Landstar Ranger Inc.
The class action suit charges Landstar has been violating the federal truth-in-leasing regulations in three different ways.
OOIDA is seeking refunds of alleged overcharges for fuel Landstar buys from truckstops when owner-operators use their Comdata-issued fuel card. It is also seeking refunds of alleged overcharges for base plates and permits that the company obtains on behalf of owner-operators.
Also, OOIDA is seeking refunds of chargebacks to or reductions from compensation for costs charged by U.S. Bank on Department of Defense shipments.
"The purpose of this suit is to correct these practices and to promote greater compliance with the federal regulations," OOIDA president Jim Johnston said. "When unscrupulous companies cannot subsidize their profits at the expense of its owner-operators they will have no choice but to raise rates to profitable levels or go out of business."
Landstar and its operating companies employ more than 8,000 owner-operators.
"I believe that the OOIDA lawsuit is self-serving," said Landstar chairman & CEO Jeff Crowe. "Landstar's business model treats its owner-operators fairly and as the true entrepreneurs they are. All of its programs are designed to benefit such third-party capacity and are the benchmark of the industry."