In a November 6, 2012 decision, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted the railroad defendants’ request to modify the procedural schedule in the fuel surcharge antitrust class action litigation. The modification provides an approximately one-month extension of deadlines related to summary judgment motions, Daubert motions (challenges to experts or to their opinions) and submission of expert reports.

The new schedule is:

  • Plaintiffs’ opening expert reports were served on defendants on October 15, 2012
  • Defendants’ rebuttal expert reports are due January 21, 2013
  • Plaintiffs’ rebuttal expert reports are due March 4, 2013
  • All expert depositions to be completed March 25, 2013
  • All Daubert and summary judgment motions are due May 9, 2013
  • All opposition briefs to Daubert and summary judgment motions are due June 20, 2013
  • All reply briefs in support of Daubert and summary judgment motions are due July 18, 2013

This case has potentially far-reaching implications for rail shippers. A class of shippers has alleged that the four major U.S. railroads (BNSF Railway Company, CSX Transportation, Inc., Norfolk Southern Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad Company) engaged in a price-fixing conspiracy in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. Any company that shipped large volumes of goods by rail and paid fuel surcharges directly to one or more of the defendant railroads in the class period (July 1, 2003 to December 31, 2008) is potentially affected.