Attorney Leonard M. Singer, Boston, MA  (617) 737-7670  (www.LeonardMSinger.com)


49 U.S.C. § 14704. Rights and remedies of persons injured by carriers or brokers

(a) In General.—

(1) Enforcement of order.— A person injured because a carrier or broker providing transportation or service subject to jurisdiction under chapter 135 does not obey an order of the Secretary or the Board, as applicable, under this part, except an order for the payment of money, may bring a civil action to enforce that order under this subsection. A person may bring a civil action for injunctive relief for violations of sections 14102 and 14103.

(2) Damages for violations.— A carrier or broker providing transportation or service subject to jurisdiction under chapter 135 is liable for damages sustained by a person as a result of an act or omission of that carrier or broker in violation of this part.

(b) Liability and Damages for Exceeding Tariff Rate.— A carrier providing transportation or service subject to jurisdiction under chapter 135 is liable to a person for amounts charged that exceed the applicable rate for transportation or service contained in a tariff in effect under section 13702.

(c) Election.—

(1) Complaint to dot or board; civil action.— A person may file a complaint with the Board or the Secretary, as applicable, under section 14701 (b) or bring a civil action under subsection (b) to enforce liability against a carrier or broker providing transportation or service subject to jurisdiction under chapter 135.

(2) Order of dot or board.—

(A) In general.— When the Board or Secretary, as applicable, makes an award under subsection (b) of this section, the Board or Secretary, as applicable, shall order the carrier to pay the amount awarded by a specific date. The Board or Secretary, as applicable, may order a carrier or broker providing transportation or service subject to jurisdiction under chapter 135 to pay damages only when the proceeding is on complaint.

(B) Enforcement by civil action.— The person for whose benefit an order of the Board or Secretary requiring the payment of money is made may bring a civil action to enforce that order under this paragraph if the carrier or broker does not pay the amount awarded by the date payment was ordered to be made.

(d) Procedure.—

(1) In general.— When a person begins a civil action under subsection (b) of this section to enforce an order of the Board or Secretary requiring the payment of damages by a carrier or broker providing transportation or service subject to jurisdiction under chapter 135 of this title, the text of the order of the Board or Secretary must be included in the complaint. In addition to the district courts of the United States, a State court of general jurisdiction having jurisdiction of the parties has jurisdiction to enforce an order under this paragraph. The findings and order of the Board or Secretary are competent evidence of the facts stated in them. Trial in a civil action brought in a district court of the United States under this paragraph is in the judicial district in which the plaintiff resides or in which the principal operating office of the carrier or broker is located. In a civil action under this paragraph, the plaintiff is liable for only those costs that accrue on an appeal taken by the plaintiff.

(2) Parties.— All parties in whose favor the award was made may be joined as plaintiffs in a civil action brought in a district court of the United States under this subsection and all the carriers that are parties to the order awarding damages may be joined as defendants. Trial in the action is in the judicial district in which any one of the plaintiffs could bring the action against any one of the defendants. Process may be served on a defendant at its principal operating office when that defendant is not in the district in which the action is brought. A judgment ordering recovery may be made in favor of any of those plaintiffs against the defendant found to be liable to that plaintiff.

(e) Attorney’s Fees.— The district court shall award a reasonable attorney’s fee under this section. The district court shall tax and collect that fee as part of the costs of the action.

Do not act or rely upon this statute without ensuring that it is up to date and without seeking professional legal advice.