CR England continues to fight lawsuit

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – CR England, America’s largest refrigerated trucking company, is looking to the Utah Supreme Court for direction now that a federal court has certified a nationwide class action lawsuit involving more than 14,000 truck drivers.

The lawsuit alleges CR England and Horizon Truck Sales and Leasing engaged in a scheme to defraud drivers through a lease driver program. The lawsuit was originally filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in May 2011, but was later transferred to the District of Utah in April 2012.

The company, along with fellow defendants Opportunity Leasing and Horizon Truck Sales and Leasing, filed a motion with the Utah Supreme Court on March 27.

In the motion, the company argues that there are still issues regarding provisions in the Utah Consumer Sales Practice Act (UCPSA), Utah Business Opportunity Disclosure Act (UBODA), and the Utah Truth in Advertising Act (UTIAA).

CR England has asked that the federal court request certification of four questions to the Utah Supreme Court. As part of the motion, CR England argues that certification is needed because their questions are “indisputably uncertain” because no Utah court has addressed them previously, and that the answers to the questions are “very significant” to its case.

The four questions are as follows:

– As a matter of state law, do Utah Code and the UCSPA mean that in a class action relating to a transaction governed by the UCSPA, class members cannot seek statutory or actual damages for violations of the UBODA or the UTIAA?

– As a matter of state law, do Utah Code and the UCSPA mean that in a class action relating to a transaction governed by the UCSPA, the class notice as to claims for violations of the UBODA and the UTIAA must advise class members that the court will exclude them from the class unless they request inclusion by a specific date?

– Under the UBODA, can information unrelated to selling or marketing services to third parties provided by a business to an independent contractor in order to help the independent contractor perform services for that same business qualify as “a sales program or marketing program” within the meaning of Utah Code?

– Under the UBODA, can payments from an independent contractor to a business for the purchase of goods or services pursuant to written agreements be considered “initial required consideration,” when the written agreements specifically state that the independent contractor need not purchase the goods or services as a condition for earning income in the alleged assisted marketing plan?

The company’s petition for permission to appeal the District of Utah’s class certification was recently denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. In its March 27 order, a three-judge panel explained that the decision to grant the petition is purely discretionary.

District Judge Robert J. Shelby certified the class action under an order in January.


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