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After a confrontational screening at Philadelphia International Airport in 2006, during which police were called, Pellegrino asserted intentional tort claims against TSA screeners. Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, the government generally enjoys sovereign immunity for intentional torts committed by federal employees, subject to the “law enforcement proviso” exception, which waives immunity for a subset of intentional torts committed by employees who qualify as “investigative or law enforcement officers,” 28 U.S.C. 2680(h). The Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of Pellegrino’s suit, holding that TSA screeners are not “investigative or law enforcement officers” under the law enforcement proviso. They “typically are not law enforcement officers and do not act as such.” The court noted that the head of the TSA, the Under Secretary of Transportation for Security, has specific authority to designate employees to serve as “law enforcement officer[s]” 49 U.S.C. 114(p)(1). An employee so designated may carry a firearm, make arrests, and seek and execute warrants for arrest or seizure of evidence. Screening locations are staffed by both screening officers and law enforcement officers. View "Pellegrino v. United States Transportation Security Administration" on Justia Law

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Allied contracted to ship railroad ties with Wisconsin Central’s parent company, Canadian National, providing that demurrage would begin to accrue after two days of unloading time. Rail carriers are statutorily required to impose demurrage charges when rail cars are detained beyond the time the tariff allows for loading or unloading. Wisconsin Central also entered into an agreement with TiEnergy, which would receive the ties at its Wisconsin facility; grind them for sale to Xcel, which would burn them to generate power; and provide Allied with proof that the ties had been incinerated in an environmentally safe manner. Allied listed TiEnergy as the consignee on all bills of lading. After receiving the ties, TiEnergy unloaded, ground, and sold them. Approximately 100 rail cars used to ship the ties remained on the sidetrack beyond the two-day unloading period. Canadian National billed TiEnergy for demurrage. TiEnergy said that it had not agreed to be identified as the consignee and could not be held responsible. Wisconsin Central sued TiEnergy, seeking to recover approximately $100,000 in demurrage. TiEnergy sought indemnification or contribution from Allied. The district court granted Wisconsin Central and Allied summary judgment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The only conclusion a juror could reasonably draw from the undisputed facts is that TiEnergy had both control of and an interest in the ties. View "Wisconsin Central Limited v. Tienergy, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit granted consolidated petitions for review of a final rule published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indefinitely delaying a previously published rule increasing civil penalties for noncompliance with Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. The court held that the agency lacked statutory authority to indefinitely delay the effective date of the rule. Furthermore, the agency, in promulgating the rule, failed to comply with the requirements of notice and comment rulemaking pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act. Accordingly, the court vacated the rule. View "Natural Resources Defense Council v. National Highway Traffic Safety Admin." on Justia Law

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The Business and Consumer Docket did not err by determining that the Sensible Transportation Policy Act (STPA), Me. Rev. Stat. 23, 73, afforded the plaintiffs, who sought declaratory and injunctive relief regarding the Department of Transportation’s plan to widen Main Street in Wiscasset, no private right of action. Plaintiffs, four entities that owned property in Wiscasset, claimed that the Department violated various constitutional, statutory, regulatory, and municipal provisions in planning and designing a downtown improvement project calling for the widening and alteration of Maine Street. The court entered a judgment on the pleadings in favor of the Department as to all counts. As to count one, the court concluded that the STPA affords no private right of action and that Plaintiffs were precluded from seeking relief on that basis. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the STPA provides for no implied private right of action to allow enforcement of its terms. View "Wawenock, LLC v. Department of Transportation" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's claims against defendants in an action alleging claims under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), 18 U.S.C. 2721-25. The court held that the district court properly dismissed plaintiff's claims against Defendant Kopp as untimely under the applicable statute of limitations; plaintiff failed to state a claim for direct municipal liability against Duluth because she failed to plead sufficient facts supporting an inference that the City knowingly allowed Kopp to access the database for any reason other than her official duties; and plaintiff failed to preserve any vicarious liability claim. View "Loeffler v. City of Duluth" on Justia Law

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At issue was whether property owners’ state-law damage claims against the railroad bridge owners alleging that the design and operation of the railroad bridges resulted in flood damage to other properties were preempted by the Federal Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act (ICCTA), 49 U.S.C. 10501(b). Plaintiffs, property owners in Cedar Rapids, sued the owners of certain railroad bridges across the Cedar River alleging that their efforts to protect the bridges from washing out exacerbated the effects of the 2008 flooding for other property owners. The district court granted Defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings, concluding that the ICCTA expressly preempted Plaintiffs’ state law claims. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the ICCTA did indeed preempt Plaintiffs’ action. View "Griffioen v. Cedar Rapids" on Justia Law

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In 2007, Canadian National Railway (CN) sought approval from the Surface Transportation Board of its acquisition of the EJ & E rail line near Chicago. The Board considered the impact of the acquisition on 112 railroad crossings throughout the area, including the intersection at U.S. Highway 14 in Barrington. Crossings projected to be “substantially affected” were eligible for mitigation measures imposed by the Board as a condition to its approval, up to and including grade separation between the roadway and rail line. The Board approved CN’s acquisition, finding that U.S. 14 would neither be substantially affected nor warrant a grade separation. Barrington unsuccessfully petitioned the Board to reopen its decision three times. The Seventh Circuit denied a petition for review. Barrington did not present new evidence or substantially changed circumstances that mandate a different result, 49 U.S.C. 1322(c). The Board conducted an environmental review (National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321–4370m‐12) and concluded that U.S. 14 did not exceed any of the three congestion thresholds for substantially affected crossings because “the major source of congestion” at U.S. 14 is “excess vehicle demand at existing major thoroughfare intersections” and “existing traffic signals in proximity to one another,” not CN’s acquisition of the EJ & E line. View "Village of Barrington v. Surface Transportation Board" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit granted a petition for review of the differential treatment by Galveston Port to petitioners, who operate shuttle buses, as compared to taxis and limos. The court held that the FMC's decision accepting that shuttle buses were treated differently than taxis and limos was not sustainable. In this case, petitioners were plainly injured when they were charged more than the other commercial passenger vehicles and the FMC never determined whether the Port justified the differential treatment based on legitimate transportation factors. The court vacated FMC's orders and remanded for further proceedings. View "Santa Fe Discount Cruise Parking v. FMC" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a former MLB player, filed suit alleging violations of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), 18 U.S.C. 2721-25, after an audit revealed that officers from over thirty departments had accessed his information more than 125 times. After the issuance of the Eighth Circuit's opinions in McDonough v. Anoka County, 799 F.3d 931 (2015), and Tichich v. City of Bloomington, 835 F.3d 856 (2016), plaintiff conceded that only his claims against the City of Bloomington and the City of Shakopee were timely and plausible. With respect to these claims, the court affirmed the district court's grant of defendants' motion to dismiss because plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts to show an impermissible purpose by defendants. View "Berenguer v. Anoka County" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a former MLB player, filed suit alleging violations of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), 18 U.S.C. 2721-25, after an audit revealed that officers from over thirty departments had accessed his information more than 125 times. After the issuance of the Eighth Circuit's opinions in McDonough v. Anoka County, 799 F.3d 931 (2015), and Tichich v. City of Bloomington, 835 F.3d 856 (2016), plaintiff conceded that only his claims against the City of Bloomington and the City of Shakopee were timely and plausible. With respect to these claims, the court affirmed the district court's grant of defendants' motion to dismiss because plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts to show an impermissible purpose by defendants. View "Berenguer v. Anoka County" on Justia Law