The United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri Southern Division has awarded $559,718 to Prime Inc for attorney's fees. This money refunds Prime part of the cost it incurred while defending itself against a lawsuit by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).
This ruling is the continuation of events stemming from a lawsuit filed against Prime in 1997, alleging federal leasing violations and asserting class action status. The US Court of Appeals held that class action status was indeed not proper and that the lower district court had been accurate in its decisions dismissing the lawsuit. Prime then filed an application for attorney's fees as provided for under the US Code.
“The court granted summary judgment against the remaining plaintiff, OOIDA, holding that the leases at issue conformed to the truth-in-leasing regulations as a matter of law,” said US District Court Judge Dean Wipple. Responding to OOIDA's argument that the court's order was without jurisdiction because it held that OOIDA lacked standing, Wipple reiterates, “Thus, the court's holding was based on the merits of the case, not OOIDA's standing.”
After a favorable court ruling on this case in August 2003, Robert Low, president of Prime, said, “We take great pride in being fair with operators and value them as partners in our business. We will continue to do what it takes to fight these types of lawsuits against our company.”