WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has sided with Kmart Corp. in a dispute with a defunct trucking company that claimed it undercharged the mass retailer $500,000. The decision will affect an estimated 111 other shippers facing similar claims.
Security Services Inc. v. Kmart Corp is one in a series of cases the High Court has heard involving bankrupt carriers looking to recoup revenues based on the nation’s intricate trucking laws.
In its decision, the court said Security Services was not entitled to recoup the money because it technically did not have a rate filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission, a legal requirement.
The court found Security Services had erred by failing to maintain its membership in the Household Goods Carriers’ Bureau, a company certified by the ICC to establish mileage guides on which rates are set.
By not paying its $83 annual dues in 1984, the trucking company no longer had an ICC-approved filed rate, the court said.
Two of the court’s 10 justices filed dissenting opinions. Justices Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg maintained that Security Services at one time had a filed rate with the ICC and its expired membership had no bearing on the issue.