Transportation, Shipping & Logistics
Points to Consider
Products liability claims – Manufacturers and distributors of transportation equipment may face claims that a product issue caused their injuries. These can range from claims that signaling issues contributed to a train crash to allegations that a truck rim failed. Protecting against such claims begins with the contracting and insurance, and defending against them typically involves a careful investigation and expert reconstruction to demonstrate how the accident happened and whether there was any contributory product issue. Product liability claims for transportation equipment fall under different regulatory regimes, depending upon whether the equipment operates on-road, off-road, on rails, through the air or in navigable waters.
Shipping losses – Shippers agree to transport items, both commercial and consumer, from one place to another. These items are shipped via rail, truck, and ship. Invariably, items are lost or damaged along the way, prompting customers to demand repayment for the item(s) they lost, and insurers to seek recovery for their loss payments from the parties who caused the loss.
Insurance and risk transfer – For companies in the transportation sector, insurance can be a valuable tool for risk transfer. Furthermore, some regulations require companies to purchase certain types of insurance. These companies need counseling to discuss how to navigate the complex insurance world and review coverage of a proposed insurance plan. Circumstances may compel a company to litigate some insurance matters.
Contracts – Companies in the transportation sector need to contract with vendors, insurance companies, and other third parties. Even with a signed contract, circumstances sometimes dictate that a company needs to litigate portions of the contract. Also, when companies have unpaid accounts receivable and need to collect what is owed, they need to understand creditors’ rights.
Toxic/Environmental – There may be environmental issues arising from transportation spills and accidents, along with toxic exposure and property damage claims.
Employment – As this sector develops, the employee workforce will increase. When this happens, companies in the transportation sector will require counseling about labor and employment laws. Similarly, these companies will need defenses against claims that they violated employment regulations or employee agreements.
IP – A company that wants to stay profitable needs to protect its intellectual property and its brand. This can be accomplished through patents, trademarks, copyrights, and licensing. Companies may need to defend themselves against claims that they violated another company’s intellectual property rights or to enforce their IP rights against others.
Supply chain and logistics – Proper supply chain management is crucial. Manufacturers and sales teams need to get the right product to the right consumer with the right quantity at the right time, and to have clear agreements on who bears the risk of loss at every stage. When disputes occur, manufacturers and sales teams need proper defenses to avoid negative outcomes.
If you operate in the transportation business, get acquainted with a law firm that knows your business.