Cargo Damage in Transit - Federal Law Governs

Commercial Litigation Lawyer Austin Texas

Feb 1, 2013 — by jeff
Tags: Commercial Law

 

An interstate carrier's responsibility for goods it transports is governed by the Carmack Amendment. Enacted in 1906, the Carmack Amendment "supersedes all state laws as to the rights and liabilities and exemptions created by such transaction." Adams Express Co. v. Croninger, 226 U.S. 491, 505 (1913) (internal quotation marks omitted). Because the only action against an interstate common carrier for cargo damage is under federal law, Daybreak removed the case to federal court. It cited Hoskins v. Bekins Van Lines, 343 F.3d 769, 778 (5th Cir. 2003), which states:

Congress intended for the Carmack Amendment to provide the exclusive cause of action for loss or damages to goods arising from the interstate transportation of those goods by a common carrier. Accordingly, we hold that the complete pre-emption doctrine applies. Because the Carmack Amendment provides the exclusive cause of action for such claims, . . . claims [for such loss or damages] "only arise[ ] under federal law and [can], therefore, be removed . . . ." 

The expansive reach of complete preemption under the Carmack Amendment means that anycause of action arising from the interstate transportation of goods by a common carrier "is either wholly federal or nothing at all" regardless of how it is labeled. . . .

If a filed pleading relates to a cause of action . . . that is not subject to a plea of limitation when the pleading is filed, a subsequent amendment or supplement to the pleading that changes the facts or grounds of liability or defense is not subject to a plea of limitation unless the amendment or supplement is wholly based on a new, distinct, or different transaction or occurrence.

 

TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE § 16.068. 

Lexington Ins. Co. v. Daybreak Express Inc. (Tex. 2013)

 

 

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