Transportation and Cargo
Stone & Johnson’s Transportation and Cargo litigation practice area has experience in litigating a wide variety of transportation issues, including defense of carriers and drivers in claims arising from road and highway accidents, as well as analysis and litigation of coverage issues under cargo/property policies. These claims often can present complex issues regarding the liability of ICC/Surface Transportation Board placard holders and the relationship between lessors of trucks and tractors to lessee placard holders. Stone & Johnson has litigated issues involving the rights and responsibilities arising from the relationship between carriers and other transportation entities such as railroads, shippers, freight forwarders and brokers following accidents involving personal injury and/or property damage and loss or damage to cargo.
The transportation of goods or cargo creates and requires a legal relationship between shippers and carriers. This relationship is usually defined with the issuance of bills of lading for the goods in transit, and in turn the bills of lading are subject to various statutory schemes: The Carmack Amendment to the Interstate Commerce Act for overland transport, and COGSA and the Harter Act for maritime transport. Claims arise over any change in condition of the goods as between the time of the issuance of bills of lading and the eventual delivery of the goods to the consignee. An array of legal and factual issues arise in this claims process as between shipper and carrier, as between carrier and subsequent carrier and as between various insurance coverages. Attorneys at Stone & Johnson are experienced in the unique claims and insurance customs and practices involved in cargo transport.