Justia Transportation Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in White Collar Crime
SC Johnson & Son Inc. v. Transp. Corp. of Am., Inc.
The company, S.C. Johnson & Son, was injured by a bribery and kickback scheme involving a dishonest employee and transportation companies with which it had contracts and filed a tort lawsuit in Wisconsin state court. The company filed a second suit, against different transportation defendants, in federal court, based on diversity jurisdiction. The district court dismissed the suit, which raised state law claims of fraudulent misrepresentation by omission; criminal conspiracy to violate Wisconsin’s bribery statute, Wis. Stat. 134.05; conspiracy to commit fraud; violations of the Wisconsin Organized Crime Control Act, Wis. Stat. 946.80, through racketeering activity and mail and wire fraud; and aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty by providing bribes and kickbacks. The court indicated that federal law preempted state tort claims because they could have “the force and effect of a law related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier . . . with respect to the transportation of property.” 49 U.S.C. 14501(c)(1). The Seventh Circuit reversed. A claim for fraudulent misrepresentation was properly dismissed, but theories based on bribery and kickbacks fall outside the scope of the preemption provision. View "SC Johnson & Son Inc. v. Transp. Corp. of Am., Inc." on Justia Law