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United States District Court for the Central District of California
September 16, 2002, Decided ; September 16, 2002, Filed; September 18, 2002, Entered
CASE NO. CV-02-1081-R
[*1177] [Assigned to the Honorable [**2] Manuel L. Real]
This case concerns a cargo theft occurring in transit on an interstate movement of goods by rail and motor carriers. The cargo was a load of Philip Morris cigarettes stowed within sealed container no. TRLU 5376554. As part of the intermodal movement, BNSF carried the container from its Chicago rail ramp to its Los Angeles rail ramp. The cargo was then supposed to be picked up by motor carrier K&R Transportation Co. ("K&R") and drayed to one of the NYK terminals where it would be placed on an ocean carrier for further shipment to Tokyo, Japan. Prior to BNSF's receipt of the container, NYK had contracted with BNSF to move the cigarettes from Chicago to Los Angeles on a ramp-to-ramp move subject to BNSF Intermodal Rules and Policies Guide and the International Transportation Agreement MA60. NYK contracted separately with K&R to haul the load to the Port of Long Beach from Los Angeles.
BNSF received electronic instructions (an "EDI"), that BNSF was to carry container TRLU 5376554 containing "freight of all kinds" for shipper NYK on a Plan 85 (or ramp-to-ramp) movement from BNSF's rail ramp in Chicago Illinois to BNSF's rail ramp [**3] in Los Angeles, California. BNSF was not notified that this was a load of cigarettes. BNSF was directed to carry the load as "FAK" or freight of all kinds." Another company, Total Employee Management Company ("TEMCO") was under contract with BNSF to man the out-gates at the BNSF rail yard to ensure that only drivers with certain documentation were permitted to pass through the gates with cargo in tow.
On August 22, 2001 at 09:45 hours, the train carrying the container at issue arrived at BNSF's rail ramp. At 13:25 hours, the sealed container was "de-ramped" (taken off of the rails and placed on a chassis). NYK had listed itself as the notify party on the shipping instructions directing BNSF to notify it when the container was ready for pick up in Los Angeles. NYK was notified by BNSF of the container's availability for pick up at 16:49 hours on August 22nd. The container was subsequently out-gated at 23:35 hours by a driver driving a K&R truck who presented NYK's confidential pick up number to the TEMCO out-gate operator. The following morning, William Byron Velasquez, the K&R driver who was assigned the day prior by K&R to pick up this load and who had since the time of that assignment [**4] the confidential pick up information, arrived at the yard and learned that the container had already been picked up. A police investigation revealed that the K&R truck used in the heist was owned by William Velasquez's nephew, Jorge Isaac Moreno, who was also a K&R truck driver, and who parked his truck on the street on August 22nd and reported it stolen the following morning on August 23rd. Velasquez had been assigned by K&R on the date that the container arrived at the rail ramp, to dray the container to Long Beach. He had been given the confidential pick up information on the load on August 22, 2002, the date on which the load arrived at the rail ramp, but decided to wait until the following day to pick up the load.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
222 F. Supp. 2d 1176 *; 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19069 **
NYK LINE (NORTH AMERICA), INC., Plaintiff, vs. THE BURLINGTON NORTHERN AND SANTA FE RAILWAY COMPANY, K&R TRANSPORTATION, INC., and DOES 1 to 10, et al., Defendants.
Disposition: [**1] BNSF's motion for summary judgment GRANTED.
container, carrier, ramp, pickup, Carmack Amendment, notified, preempted, delivery, Transportation, summary judgment, cause of action, cargo, load, shipment, arrived, driver, interstate, theft, summary judgment motion, ramp-to-ramp, contracted, transit, truck, yard, grant summary judgment, matter of law, chassis, shipped, stolen
Civil Procedure, Trials, Judgment as Matter of Law, Directed Verdicts, Summary Judgment, Motions for Summary Judgment, General Overview, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Genuine Disputes, Materiality of Facts, Supporting Materials, Discovery Materials, Judicial Officers, Judges, Burdens of Proof, Judgments, Partial Summary Judgment, Transportation Law, Carrier Duties & Liabilities, Bills of Lading, Interstate Commerce, Federal Powers, Rail Transportation, Carmack Amendment, Admiralty & Maritime Law, Practice & Procedure, Federal Preemption, Damages