ExxonMobil Joins Phillips 66 and 23 Others In Railroad Antitrust Lawsuits

January 13, 2020

ExxonMobil Corp. on Monday joined with dozens of other firms in taking legal action against four railroad companies, accusing them of antitrust law violations.

BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific worked together to raise freight transportation costs, force their clients into paying higher prices and also developed rates that were independent of fuel costs, the lawsuit claims.

The suit was filed in the Southern District of Texas, according to Law360.

A total of 24 lawsuits against the Class I railroad companies were filed on September 30th of last year, following complaints dating back to 2007, saying the railroads were conspiring years earlier to fix shipping rates.

The 24 lawsuits were filed with class action status granted, but 2012 antitrust lawsuit requirement changes caused an appeals court to side with a lower court denying the class action status under the Supreme Court-ordered changes.

Those lawsuits faced a September 30th deadline, hence the deluge of court actions on that day, as noted by Supply Chain Dive.  

Among those in earlier lawsuits against the railroads were Phillips 66, Talen Energy Supply, Motiva Enterprises, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy and Nova Chemicals.