Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Case Digests / Consumer Protection – Arbitration – federal preemption

Consumer Protection – Arbitration – federal preemption

Consumer Protection – Arbitration – federal preemption

49 U.S.C. 14501(c)(1) does not preempt state-law claims stemming from the storage and disposal of a towed vehicle.

Pelkey’s state-law claims escape preemption because they are “related to” neither the “transportation of property” nor the “service” of a motor carrier. Although §14501(c)(1) otherwise tracks the ADA’s air-carrier preemption provision, the FAAAA formulation’s one conspicuous alteration—addition of the words “with respect to the transportation of property”—significantly limits the FAAAA’s preemptive scope. It is not sufficient for a state law to relate to the “price, route, or service” of a motor carrier in any capacity; the law must also concern a motor carrier’s “transportation of property.” Title 49 defines “transportation,” in relevant part, as “services related to th[e] movement” of property, “including arranging for . . . storage [and] handling.” §13102(23)(B). Pelkey’s Consumer Protection Act and negligence claims are not “related to th[e] movement” of his car. Chapter 262 regulates the disposal of vehicles once their transportation— here, by towing—has ended. Pelkey seeks redress only for conduct occurring after the car ceased moving and was stored. Dan’s City maintains that because §13102(23)(B)’s definition of “transportation” includes “storage” and “handling,” Pelkey’s claims fall within §14501(c)(1)’s preemptive ambit. But “storage” and “handling” fit within §13102(23)(B)’s definition only when those services “relat[e] to th[e] movement” of property. Thus temporary storage of an item in transit en route to its final destination qualifies as “transportation,” but permanent storage does not. Here, no storage occurred in the course of transporting Pelkey’s vehicle.

163 N. H. 483, 44 A. 3d 480, affirmed.

12-52 Dan’s City Used Cars, Inc., v. Pelkey

Ginsburg, J.

U.S. Supreme Court

Full Text

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *