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Industry Insights

Department of Justice Indicts Fed EX

The Department of Justice has brought charges against Fed Ex for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances and conspiracy to distribute misbranded drugs. The charges are because Fed Ex has been delivering packages of illegally prescribed drugs from internet pharmacies. According to the DEA and the FDA, Fed Ex has been informed at least six times since 2004 that the illegal pharmacies had been using Fed Ex to fulfill illegal prescriptions.  Fed Ex, the second largest for-hire company in the country, intends to please non-guilty to the charges while also claiming that the charges will put its customers' privacy at risk.  Fed Ex has requested a list from the DEA of illegal pharmacies, but the DEA has never provided such a list. You can find out more by clicking here.

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Fuel Prices Continue to Decline

Good news at the fuel pumps these days! The prices of both diesel and gasoline have been on the decline this last week according to the Energy Information Administration, which has been tracking the data. On average, the national price per gallon of diesel fuel declined by 1.9 cents this last week to bring the national average price per gallon of $3.894. The price of diesel dropped in all regions of the country, with the greatest drop in the Mid West region. 

Gasoline dropped throughout the country, too. The national average price of gasoline dropped 4.3 cents this last week, bringing the nation wide average price per gallon down to $3.635 per gallon. You can find out more information on fuel prices by clicking here.

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Federal Court Decides CA State Law Stands - Paid Breaks are Mandatory

Earlier this week, the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals came to a decision on the Class Action law suit that was brought against Penske back in 2008.  The federal appeals court has ruled that the California State Law that requires a 30 minute lunch break after 5 hours of work and a paid ten minute break after four hours of work applies to the transporation industry and motor carriers are not exempt from it. TAccording to court documents, the plaintiffs claimed that Penske did not ensure that employess took their mandatory breaks and created an “environment that discourages employees from taking their meal and rest breaks.”  Penske claims that the due to the structure and nature of the driving jobs, the carrier was exempt under the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 which preempts state law. The Federal Court, however, has ruled otherwise. You can find out more by clicking here.

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3 More Lawsuits for Navistar

Once again, Navistar is in the hot seat. This time, 3 companies have sued Navistar because they claim that the 2011 and 2012 MaxxForce engines were defective and didn’t meet federal 2010 emissions standards. In addittion, the lawsuits further allege "Navistar knew its engines were flawed yet concealed that information from truck buyers." The three companies that are taking Navistar to court are Floyd Blinksy Trucking from Washington state, Americorp Xpress Carriers from Texas and Tennessee-based First Express. The representative for Navistar stated that the company will not comment on pending litigation. To see a list of the charges brought against Navistar, and to read more details of the plantiff's engine troubles, click here.

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Fake Doctor Giving Fake DOT Physicals

A Pennsylvania woman has duped at least 16 drivers into paying her $65 for a DOT physical. According to Associated Press, the woman has stolen the credentials of a psychiatrist that shares the same name - Joann Wingate. Wingate would set up "shop" close to various rest stops in the Carlisle, PA area. Wingate has been arrested and charged.  Her preliminary hearing will be on July 16th, where she will face charges of forgery, identity theft, impersonation, fraud and related offenses. Wingate would perfome a physical exam, take a urine sample and would send fax forms to the DOT. Police believe there may be more victims than the 16 that have come forward so far. If you or anyone you know has been taken advantage by this woman, please contact the authorities. You can find out more about the story by clicking here.

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The U.S. DOT to Start Limiting Infrastructure Funds to States

For those of you that haven't seen it, you can view the U.S. DOT's Highway Trust Fund Ticker here.  As most folks are well aware, the Highway Trust Fund is almost utterly dry, and if lawmakers don't soon come up with a solution, it will not be replenished.  The U.S. DOT Secretary of State, Anthony Foxx, announced via email that as of August 1st, the Highway Trust Fund will be limiting the reimbursement payments to the states for infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges. “As I stated in my June 19 letter, the Department will continue to take every possible measure to fully reimburse your State for as long as we can,” Foxx stated. “However, as we approach insolvency, the Department will be forced to limit payments to manage the reduced levels of cash available in the Trust Fund. This means, among other things, that the Federal Highway Administration will no longer make ‘same-day’ payments to reimburse States.” You can find out more about the possible solutions being considered by Congress and the White House by clicking here.

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