More than two dozen major companies have filed suit against the four biggest U.S. railroad companies - BNSF Railway (BRK.A, BRK.B), Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP), CSX Corp (NASDAQ:CSX) and Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) - alleging they engaged in a price-fixing scheme.
The lawsuits say the companies conspired to raise prices starting in 2003 by imposing coordinated fuel surcharges, ultimately pocketing billions of dollars in profits.
Attorneys had sought class-action status on behalf of 16K shippers against the four railroads, but earlier this year a judge said the cases should be brought individually or broken down into groups of similar shippers with similar situations; Monday was the deadline for filing those individual cases.
In previous stages of the lawsuits, the railroads contended that fuel surcharges are common across the transportation industry, that they were legal and needed to recover rising fuel costs at the time.
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