Class Action on Truck Driver Payment Heading to Trial

The Arizona Supreme Court has declined to review a Nov. 4, 2010, ruling by a trial judge certifying a lawsuit against Swift Transportation Co. Inc. as a class action.

A lawsuit that could be highly important to motor carriers nationwide and their drivers is headed to trial fairly soon, now that the Arizona Supreme Court has declined to review a Nov. 4, 2010, ruling by a trial judge certifying Piron v. Swift Transportation Co. Inc. as a class action. The suit was filed in January 2004 on behalf of Scott Piron, personal representative of the estate of a deceased Swift truck driver, by Hagens Berman LLC, a Seattle law firm that announced the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision on Sept. 6.

The suit claims Swift promised to pay drivers on a per-mile basis but saved millions of dollars annually by routinely paying them for fewer miles than they actually drove. "Swift's practice of paying for materially fewer miles than the miles actually traveled by the driver on the run is uniform and affects all drivers throughout the country. This practice was conceived and implemented by Swift at its Phoenix, Arizona headquarters," the lawsuit claims. It sought certification of a class of about 19,000 drivers –- every driver employed since Jan. 30, 1998, who was paid per mile by the company.

Swift claims to be the world's largest truckload motor carrier. It operates a network of 34 terminals located in most U.S. states and in Mexico. It reported $2.9 billion in operating revenue for 2010 and as of June 30, 2011, operated 16,900 tractors – 12,800 driven by employees and another 4,100 by owner-operators.

William B. Cassidy reported in the Journal of Commerce that the point-to-point distances between locations that Swift uses to calculate driver payments are derived from the Official Transportation Mileage Guide or Household Goods Mileage Guide published by Rand McNally and "are widely used by all types of truckers to set pricing."

Download Center

  • EHS Buyer's Guide

    Download this buyer's guide to make more informed decisions as you're looking for an EHS management software system for your organization.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2021

    September 2021

    Featuring:

    • COMBUSTIBLE DUST
      Managing Combustible Dust and Risk Mitigation
    • PPE: CONSTRUCTION
      The Rising Popularity of Safety Helmets on the Jobsite
    • PPE: ELECTRICAL SAFETY
      Five Tips for a Successful Wear Trial
    • SAFETY & HEALTH
      Medical Surveillance Versus Medical Screening
    View This Issue