Trucking companies agree to pay $9.25 million to end California class action

April 18, 2018

Mark Schremmer


Three trucking companies have agreed to pay a total of $9.25 million to settle a class action lawsuit that claimed hundreds of California truck drivers were misclassified as independent contractors.

The proposed agreement with Roadrunner Intermodal Services, Central Cal Transportation, and Morgan Southern was filed April 16 in the U.S. District Court of Eastern California.

“After hard fought litigation, we’re pleased to have reached a resolution that allows drivers to recoup the financial losses they’ve endured from years of lost wages,” Brian S. Kabateck, the plaintiffs’ attorney with the law firm Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP, said in an email to Land Line.

A hearing for preliminary approval of the settlement will be May 1 in U.S. District Court.

According to court documents, at least $5.85 million would go to participating class members. A class of 796 truck drivers would receive an average of about $7,355. The 18 named plaintiffs would receive a $7,500 enhancement payment for a total of $135,000. The other $3.26 million would go to attorney fees, administrative costs, and penalties.

The lawsuit alleged that the drivers were misclassified as independent contractors. According to the lawsuit, the defendants failed to provide meal and rest breaks. They also alleged that the defendants didn’t pay overtime, minimum wages, and all wages upon separation.

Plaintiffs’ allegations include that defendants provided drivers with trucks though a lease arrangement with preferred third-party leasing companies and that they “directed and controlled the way drivers performed their work.”

Each of the trucking companies denied the claims.

The settlement was reached after three mediation sessions.