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Commission rule would require bankrupt carriers to get approval before filing undercharge claims.
The interstate Commerce Commission has proposed a rule that it hopes will halt the legal wrangling between trustees for bankrupt motor carriers and the shippers they've subjected to undercharge freight bills.
In a decision May 28, the ICC proposed a rule that would require defunct motor carriers to obtain commission approval before attempting to collect undercharge claims from shippers.
Bankrupt or non-operating motor carriers are trying, through the courts, to collect the difference between contract freight rates negotiated with shippers and the carrier's higher tariff rate filed with the ICC. These claims often are more than twice the amount the shipper originally paid.
Trustees for the motor carriers claim that the filed rate is the only legal one. They are supported in that argument by the 1990 Supreme Court decision involving another bankrupt trucker, Maislin Industries Inc. The court determined that the carrier rate filed with the ICC takes precedence over any other agreed-upon …