Justia California Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Transportation Law

The Interstate Commerce Termination Act (ICCTA) preempts state regulation of rail transportation, and in this case, the application of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) would not be inconsistent with the ICCTA and its preemption clause. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal, which determined that CEQA is preempted by federal law when the project to be approved involves railroad operations. The Supreme Court held that the ICCTA is not so broadly preemptive, and under the circumstances of this case, the ICCTA does not preempt the application of CEQA to the freight rail project that was the subject of this litigation. The court remanded the matter for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. View "Friends of Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority" on Justia Law

Posted in: Transportation Law

The People filed a complaint against Defendants, Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc. (Pac Anchor) and Alfredo Barajas, for violating the unfair competition law (UCL), alleging that Defendants misclassified drivers as independent contractors and committed other violations of California’s labor and unemployment insurance laws. The trial court granted judgment on the pleadings in Defendants’ favor, determining that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) preempted the People’s action. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that because the People’s UCL action was not related to Pac Anchor’s price, route, or service as a motor carrier, the FAAAA did not preempt this action against Defendants. After noting that the FAAAA does not preempt generally applicable employment laws that affect prices, routes, and services, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the FAAAA did not preempt the People’s UCL action against Defendants in this case, as the UCL action was independent of Defendants’ price, routes, or services with respect to the transportation of property. View "People ex rel. Harris v. Pac Anchor Transp., Inc." on Justia Law