Justia Nebraska Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Transportation Law
Shelter Insurance Co. v. Gomez
The Supreme Court held that a federal regulation does not impose a duty on insurers to issue policies that satisfy a motor carrier's minimum level of financial responsibility because compliance with the financial responsibility requirements under Neb. Rev. Stat. 75-363 and the pertinent federal regulations is the duty of the motor carrier and not its insurer.Through Neb. Rev. Stat. 75-363 the Nebraska Legislature adopted several parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and made those regulations applicable to certain intrastate motor carriers otherwise not subject to the federal regulations. One of the federal regulations adopted by section 75-363(3)(d) sets out minimum levels of financial responsibility for motor carriers. At issue before the Supreme Court was whether 49 C.F.R. 387 imposes a duty on an insurer to issue a policy with liability limits that satisfy the motor carrier's financial responsibility. The Supreme Court held that compliance with section 75-363 and section 387 is the responsibility of the motor carrier, not on the insurer. View "Shelter Insurance Co. v. Gomez" on Justia Law
In re Petition of Golden Plains Services Transportation, Inc.
291 Neb. Admin. Code ch. 3, 010.01C does not limit “open class” carriers to providing only prearranged transportation but allows carriers to also operate on a for-hire basis.Golden Plains Services Transportation, Inc. sought a declaratory ruling on the scope of services it could provide as an open class carrier. The Nebraska Public Service Commission interpreted Rule 010.01C to mean that “open class carriers may provide transportation to passengers for hire on a prearranged basis only” and may not “provide on-demand transportation services to passengers for hire.” The Supreme Court reversed and vacated the order releasing the Commission’s interpretation of Rule 010.01C, holding that the Commission’s interpretation was not supported by the language of such rule. View "In re Petition of Golden Plains Services Transportation, Inc." on Justia Law
State v. Halverstadt
Richard Halverstadt was convicted of violating Neb. Rev. Stat. 60-6.294 and 60-6,300 after being cited for hauling an overweight load on a Nebraska roadway. Halverstadt's load exceeded both the weight limits of his special county permit and the statutory weight limits on two axles and in gross weight. The district court affirmed. Halverstadt appealed, contending that the statutes did not apply to his actions because he possessed a special permit. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed Halverstadt's convictions under section 60-6,294 for axle weight violations, holding that Halverstadt was properly cited and convicted under that statute; (2) held that the county court improperly revoked Halverstadt's special permit when his violation consisted solely of exceeding the weight limitations specified by the county permit; and (3) reversed Halverstadt's conviction for violating section 60-6,300 for a statutory gross weight violation because he was operating under a special permit. Remanded. View "State v. Halverstadt" on Justia Law
Tymar, LLC v. Two Men and a Truck
Appellant Tymar, LLC filed an application with the Nebraska Public Service Commission seeking authority to operate as a common carrier of household goods in intrastate commerce. Appellees, other common carriers in the area, filed protests to Tymar's application. After a hearing, the Commission denied the application, determining that Tymar had failed to establish its prima facie case that it met the standards for approval of its application under the regulatory scheme imposed by Neb. Rev. Stat. 75-301. The district court affirmed. At issue on appeal was whether requests for admissions Tymar tendered to Appellees but which Appellees did not answer should have been deemed admitted under Neb. R. Civ. P. R. 36. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Commission erred when it did not give legal effect to the substance of the unanswered requests, and the district court erred as a matter of law when it failed to correct the Commission's rulings regarding these requests for admissions. Remanded with directions to reconsider Tymar's application. View "Tymar, LLC v. Two Men and a Truck" on Justia Law
Dresser v. Union Pacific R.R. Co.
Krista Rosencrans was severely injured when a train collided with a motor vehicle in which she was a passenger. Rosencrans and her mother (collectively, Appellants) brought a negligence action against Union Pacific and the operator of the motor vehicle. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Union Pacific, determining, among other things, that the claims that the train crew failed to maintain a proper lookout and failed to slow or stop the train to avoid a specific hazard were excessive speed claims and thus preempted by the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA). The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the district court erred in finding that Appellants' state law negligence claim based on failure to slow the train was preempted where Appellants' claim based on Union Pacific's alleged failure to exercise ordinary care once it appeared that a collision would probably occur was not necessarily speed based and thus preempted. Remanded. View "Dresser v. Union Pacific R.R. Co." on Justia Law