Category - Transportation

1
The New EPA Underground Storage Tank Regulations: A Compliance Primer
2
Ninth Circuit Requires Increased Disclosures Related To The Sale Of “Certified” Pre-Owned Vehicles In Gonzales v. Carmax Auto Superstores, LLC (2016) 840 F.3d 644
3
UPDATE – Court Rejects Uber’s Proposed $100 Million Settlement
4
$100 Million Uber Settlement Maintains Classification of Drivers as Independent Contractors
5
Total Transportation Gets Hauled Away

The New EPA Underground Storage Tank Regulations: A Compliance Primer

By: Richard Glucksman, Esq. and Ravi Mehta, Esq.
July 20, 2017

Published by AmWINS – Download Article

Background

Underground storage tanks (“USTs”) have long been used in a wide variety of residential, commercial, and industrial applications. UST regulations are intended to safeguard public health and safety, as well as reduce the economic impacts of a UST system failure. Most obviously, leaks in UST systems have the potential to contaminate the natural environment, and groundwater in particular, which is a significant source of drinking water.1  Additionally, UST regulations are designed to prevent damage, injury or death by combustion of stored material.

Congress began legislating the regulation of UST systems in 1984, and has since developed increasingly more comprehensive and robust regulations, with the most recent iteration established in 2015. These developments represent responses to advances in preventative technology, including leak detection and secondary containment, as well as changes in the substances being stored in UST systems. Further, congressional action on UST systems has been underscored by the goal of creating a more uniform set of regulations among state and local governments, as well as on tribal lands.2

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Ninth Circuit Requires Increased Disclosures Related To The Sale Of “Certified” Pre-Owned Vehicles In Gonzales v. Carmax Auto Superstores, LLC (2016) 840 F.3d 644

By: Gregory K. Sabo and Chelsea L. Zwart
May 25, 2017

In Gonzales v. CarMax Auto Superstores, LLC (2016) 840 F.3d 644, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that to comply with California’s Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights, Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), and Consumer’s Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”), a dealer selling a “certified” pre-owed vehicle must indicate the pass/fail result of each component inspected, not simply provide the buyer with a completed inspection form listing which parts were inspected.

In Gonzales, the plaintiff brought suit claiming violations of the UCL and CLRA after purchasing a “certified” used vehicle from CarMax, and alleging that the deal failed to comply with California Vehicle Code §11713.18(a)(6), which requires a dealer to provide consumers with a “completed inspection report” prior to the sale of a “certified” used vehicle.

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UPDATE – Court Rejects Uber’s Proposed $100 Million Settlement

By: Chelsea L. Zwart
September 30, 2016

In May 2016, Chapman Glucksman Dean Roeb & Barger published an article entitled, “$100 Million Uber Settlement Maintains Classification of Drivers as Independent Contractors,” which discussed a potential $100 million settlement related to a class-action reclassification suit against the on-demand driver service, Uber, brought on behalf of its drivers.  The settlement, if approved by the Court, would maintain classification of the drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, resulting in significant future savings to Uber.

The plaintiffs and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency estimated that the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) portion of the class action could result in civil penalties of over $1 billion for violations of the California Labor Code.  However, the proposed settlement only allocated approximately $1 million to the PAGA claim. On August 18, 2016, Judge Edward Chen of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order rejecting the proposed settlement, stating that it “is not fair, adequate, and reasonable,” particularly given that the proposed settlement of the PAGA claim was only “.1% of its estimated full worth.”

Judge Chen commented that he expects his order to be appealed, and thus we will continue to monitor the case and provide updates as developments unfold.

$100 Million Uber Settlement Maintains Classification of Drivers as Independent Contractors

By: Chelsea L. Zwart
May 10, 2016

Rideshare providers, such as the increasingly popular Uber and Lyft services, have been embroiled in employee misclassification lawsuits over the past few years, questioning whether their drivers are properly classified as employees or independent contractors.

It is not always clear when an individual is an employee or independent contractor in California. Rather, a variety of factors are analyzed in determining the appropriate classification, including: whether the individual (1) has the right to control how he/she performs the employment contract, (2) is customarily engaged in an independently established business, and (3) has control over the time and place the work is performed, supplies the tools used in the work, and performs work that requires a particular skill not ordinarily used in the employer’s scope of work. O’Connor v. Uber Technologies, Inc. (2015) 82 F.Supp.3d 1133, 1138-39.

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Total Transportation Gets Hauled Away

How Worker Demands are Changing the Transportation Industry

By: David A. Napper and Neil A. Eddington
April 24, 2016

Total Transportation Services, Inc. (“TTSI”), a prominent drayage hauler out of the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The bankruptcy filing is the direct result of workers’ demands for employee designation.1

For many years, drayage hauling – the short-distance transport of goods from local ports –functioned primarily through an “owner-operator” business model where drivers contracted to perform services using trucks they either own or lease. As a result, the drivers had always been characterized as independent contractors not employees. However, in 2010, after the IRS ruled a single TTSI driver was an employee, other TTSI drivers began to resist the model, filing their own suits to garner employee designation.2  For companies like TTSI, litigation expenses have piled up and led to bankruptcy; for the drayage hauling industry, the viability of its business model is in doubt.

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