Ariz. SC rules for truckers in class action

Jessica M. Karmasek Sep. 8, 2011, 12:00pm

PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) - A ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court means that truckers working for Swift Transportation who claim they are being paid for fewer miles than they actually drive can take their case to trial.

The truckers, who are being represented by Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, contend Swift used an "artificial calculation" that resulted in them being shorted.

This week, Arizona's high court declined to review a trial court's decision to certify a broad class action based on a 2008 appellate court decision that was vacated.

Now, the case can proceed to trial.

"We are pleased that the Court agreed with us that Swift drivers deserve to take this case to trial," Rob Carey, a partner in the Phoenix office of Hagens Berman, said in a statement.

"We believe that the company illegally took millions in unpaid wages from its drivers."

According to the complaint, originally filed Jan. 30, 2004 in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona for the County of Maricopa, Swift short-changed drivers using a database that, on average, shorts drivers a significant percentage of their mileage -- and hence their pay.

"We believe that the software program chosen by Swift is not compatible with the company's obligations under the drivers' employment agreements," Carey said.

The lawsuit alleges that Swift is guilty of breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing based on its alleged failure to pay for all miles driven.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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