WASHINGTON, DC – On March 9, 2018, Judge Daniel G. Martin granted class certification in a lawsuit brought by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (“OOIDA”) against Pacific Financial Association (“Pacific Financial”) and Federal Service Corporation (“Federal Service”). The lawsuit alleges that Pacific Financial and Federal Service, trustees to a BMC-85 trust, failed to carry out their fiduciary duties in managing the trust.
Judge Martin’s ruling means that the lawsuit may proceed as a class action, with OOIDA and the individual plaintiffs representing the interests of all those who were injured by Pacific Financial and Federal Service. The class is defined as “[a]ll motor carriers and shippers who entered into contracts with Alliance [Transportation] secured by the Alliance Trust and were damaged as a result of Defendants’ failure to properly perform their duties as required by the Alliance Trust.”
The court also denied a motion filed by Pacific Financial and Federal Service that sought to dismiss OOIDA as a plaintiff.
The case arises out of a BMC-85 trust issued to Alliance Transportation, a freight broker. The lawsuit alleges that Pacific Financial and Federal Service failed to adequately monitor the trust, as Alliance Transportation allowed claims and inquiries against the trust to accumulate. By the time the trust was revoked, approximately $500,000 worth of claims had accrued. The lawsuit seeks declaratory relief and an award of damages.
OOIDA originally filed the case in 2013. After the trial court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, OOIDA appealed the ruling. In 2017, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in OOIDA’s favor, holding that the plaintiffs could bring their suit under Arizona common law.
The case is currently pending in the Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County. OOIDA and the individual plaintiffs are represented by The Cullen Law Firm, PLLC, in Washington, DC.