Pennsylvania Record

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Keystone, Conemaugh Fuels claim railroad companies violated antitrust laws with fuel cost recovery fees

Federal Court

By Marian Johns | Nov 18, 2019

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PITTSBURGH – Keystone Fuels and Conemaugh Fuels have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the four largest railroad companies in the U.S. over claims they engaged in a conspiracy to enforce rail fuel charges to their customers disguised as a "fuel cost recovery program."

Keystone Fuels LLC and Conemaugh Fuels LLC filed a complaint Oct. 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against BNSF Railway Co., CSX Transportation Inc., Norfolk Southern Railway Co. and Union Pacific Co. alleging price fixing in violation of the Sherman Act. 

In their suit, the plaintiffs claim that the defendants, who together controlled about 90 percent of the U.S. rail freight traffic between 2000 and 2003, "used 'rate-based' FSCs – i.e., surcharges that use a percentage applied to the base rate for a shipment – as a means to impose across-the-board rate increases on rail freight shipments, a result that would have been prohibitively difficult to achieve on a contract-by-contract basis."  

The plaintiffs also claim the defendants made billions of dollars in profits through these efforts. 

The plaintiffs seek compensatory damages, trial by jury and all other just relief. They are represented by attorneys with Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti of Pittsburgh and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan of New York City.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania case number CV-01415-WSS 

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US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

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