Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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Plaintiff, a national association of charter-bus companies, sought to enjoin regulations affecting their operations enacted by the City of Austin. At issue was whether federal law preempted the City's exercise of its regulatory authority over the intrastate operation of charter buses. The court affirmed the district court's holding that the regulations were not preempted. The arguments about preemption were based on a federal statute captioned "Federal authority over intrastate transportation." See 49 U.S.C. 14501. The court agreed with the district court's conclusion that section 14501(c)(2)(A) may appropriately be considered in interpreting and applying section 14501(a)(2), because both subsections use identical language. The court concluded that the distinctions between sections 14501(a) and (c) do not persuade it to construe "safety regulatory authority" more narrowly in the former than in the latter. The court applied a test that was similar to the Ninth Circuit, concluding that, in light of the permitting regulation's expressed purpose and effect, there was a safety motivation for the ordinance, and there was a nexus between the permitting regulations and the safety concern. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "United Motorcoach Association, Inc. v. City of Austin" on Justia Law

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Heniff, hired to transport chemicals, filed suit against Trimac, the company Heniff hired to clean the tanker prior to the trip, for damages after the cleaning was performed incorrectly and chemicals became contaminated. The district court dismissed Heniff's state law claims. The Carmack Amendment, 49 U.S.C. 14706 et seq., establishes a federal liability regime for claims concerning goods damaged or lost during transportation in interstate commerce. The court affirmed the judgment and agreed with the district court that Heniff’s claims are preempted by the Carmack Amendment because the service that Trimac provided, a tanker wash, was a service related to the movement of property in interstate commerce. View "Heniff Transportation Systems v. Trimac Transportation Services" on Justia Law