United States District Court, D. Arizona
Murray Snow Chief United States District Judge.
before the Court is Defendant C.H. Robinson Worldwide
Incorporated's (“Robinson's”) Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. 35). For the following reasons, the
motion is denied.
summary judgment stage, “[t]he evidence of the
non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences
are to be drawn in his favor, ” Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). Disputed facts are
“viewed in the light most favorable to” Plaintiff
Robert Nyswaner, the non-moving party. See Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007).
Robinson Worldwide Incorporated (“Robinson”) is a
federally licensed property freight broker that contracts
with motor carriers to haul freight shipments. (Doc. 36,
¶¶ 1-2). In August 2015, Robinson contracted with
Luga Transportation to transport Glyphosate from Texas to
Arizona. (Doc. 26 ¶ 6). While transporting the
Glyphosate, Manuel Prado, an employee of Luga Transportation,
lost control of the trailer-truck, which rolled over on its
side and blocked the lanes of the interstate near Gila Bend.
(Doc. 26 ¶ 9). Following the rollover, Plaintiff Robert
Nyswaner collided with the trailer-truck and asserts that he
suffered injuries as a result. (Doc. 26, ¶ 11).
Nyswaner filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court
against Luga Transportation and Mr. Prado. That case settled.
(Doc. 42-1 at 1). Mr. Nyswaner then filed this lawsuit
against Robinson, seeking damages under several different
legal theories. (Doc. 1, Doc. 11).
Motion for Summary Judgment, Robinson raises a single issue:
whether the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act
of 1994 (“FAAAA”) preempts Mr. Nyswaner's
claim that Robinson negligently hired Luga Transportation to
The Federal Aviation Administration Authorization
1994, Congress sought to deregulate certain aspects of the
trucking industry, and enacted the Federal Aviation
Administration Authorization Act (“FAAAA”).
“Concerned that state regulation impeded the free flow
of trade, traffic, and transportation of interstate commerce,
Congress resolved to displace certain aspects of the State
regulatory process. The target at which it aimed was a
State's direct substitution of its own governmental
commands for competitive market forces in determining the
services that motor carriers will provide.”
Dan's City Used Cars, 569 U.S. 251, 263 (2013).
The FAAAA's “driving concern was preventing States
from replacing market forces with their own, varied commands,
like telling carriers they had to provide services not yet
offered in the marketplace.” California Trucking
Ass'n v. Su, 903 F.3d 953, 961 (9th Cir. 2018)
(internal citation and quotation marks omitted). To create
parity between air and motor carriers, Congress enacted a
preemption clause that is nearly identical to the Airline
Deregulation Act. Californians for Safe & Competitive
Dump Truck Transp. v. Mendonca, 152 F.3d 1184, 1187 (9th
Cir. 1998). “The one difference between the Airline
Deregulation Act and the FAAAA is that the latter contains
the additional phrase ‘with respect to the
transportation of property,' which is absent from the
Airline Deregulation Act and which ‘massively limits
the scope of preemption ordered by the FAAAA.'”
Dilts v. Penske Logistics, LLC, 769 F.3d 637, 644
(9th Cir. 2014) (citing Dan's City Used Cars,
569 U.S. at 260).
“inquiry into the scope of a statute's pre-emptive
effect is guided by the rule that the purpose of Congress is
the ultimate touchstone in every pre-emption case.”
Altria Group, Inc. v. Good, 555 U.S. 70, 76 (2008)
(internal quotation marks omitted). When analyzing
Congressional intent, courts must be “mindful of the
adage that Congress does not cavalierly preempt state law
causes of action.” Montalvo v. Spirit
Airlines, 508 F.3d 464, 471 (9th Cir. 2007). This is
particularly true where “Congress neither provided nor
suggested any substitute for the traditional state court
procedure for collecting damages for injuries caused by
tortious conduct.” United Const. Workers v.
Laburnum Const. Corp., 347 U.S. 656, 663-664 (1954).
cases of express preemption, courts look to the text of the
preemption clause “which necessarily contains the best
evidence of Congress' preemptive intent.” CSX
Transp., Inc. v. Easterwood, 507 U.S. 658, 664 (1993).
The FAAAA provides: “States may not enact or enforce a
law . . . or other provision having the force and effect of
law . . . related to a price, route, or service of any . .
.broker. . . with respect to the transportation of
property.” 49 U.S.C. § 14501 (c)(2)(A). The phrase
“other provision having a force of law” can
include traditional common law claims. See Northwest Inc.
v. Ginsberg, 572 U.S. 273, 284 (2014).
Ninth Circuit has repeatedly analyzed the scope of the
FAAAA's preemption clause, as well as the similar
preemption clause of the ADA. See California Trucking
Ass'n, 903 F.3d at 957 (finding that a California
common law standard was not preempted by the FAAAA);
Hickcox-Huffman v. U.S. Airways Inc., 855 F.3d 1057,
1062 (9th Cir. 2017) (finding that a state breach of contract
claim was not preempted by the ADA); National Federation
of the Blind v. United Airlines Inc., 813 F.3d 718, (9th
Cir. 2016) (holding that the ADA does not preempt claims
under California's antidiscrimination laws); Dilts v.
Penske Logistics, LLC, 769 F.3d 637, 640 (9th Cir. 2014)
(holding that the FAAAA did not preempt California's meal
and rest break laws because they were not “related
to” prices, routes, or services); Californians for
Safe & Competitive Dump Truck Transp., 152 F.3d at
1184 (holding that the FAAAA did not preempt the ...