Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ABF decision may not be out until July

Fort Smith-based Arkansas Best Corp. may not learn if it was successful in its appeal in a case against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters until July.

Arkansas Best — the parent company of less-than-truckload carrier ABF Freight System — filed suit in federal court last year against the Teamsters. Arkansas Best alleged the Teamsters worked out concessions with a competitor, YRC Worldwide that put ABF at an unfair disadvantage in the market. Arkansas Best has asked for damages of $700 million. Drivers for both ABF and YRC are members of the Teamsters union.

That case was dismissed late last year by U.S. District Court Susan Webber Wright (Eastern District of Arkansas) for want of jurisdiction. ABF appealed that decision on March 21, where it was taken up on April 12 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis.

ABF officials, at the time, said they were uncertain when a ruling might be issued. ABF spokesman David Humphrey said this morning attorneys for both parties were told by the appellate judges to expect a ruling sometime between now and July.

“From what the lawyers tell me, probably closer to July than now,” Humphrey said.