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Tennesse Public Service Commision

Case Summary

Case Name:

Owner-Operator Independent Driver’s Association, Inc., et al v. Bissell, et al

Court Name:

U.S. District Court of Middle District of Tennessee

Case Filed:

3/22/1990

Allegations

This lawsuit was prompted by discriminatory abuse of out-of-state truckers who refused to pay a political contribution to the PSC’s campaign war chest.  OOIDA received verified complaints from members regarding abusive practices by Tennessee truck inspectors, which included warrantless cab/sleeper searches. 

Trial was held in 1994 and evidence presented prompted the FHA to withhold federal funding and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to launch their own fact-finding mission.  The state legislature went on to completely abolish the PSC in 1995.  OOIDA prevailed in the lawsuit, but the Court of Appeals called the injunction won by OOIDA invalid since the PSC no longer existed.  The court did, however, award attorneys’ fees and court costs to OOIDA. 

In July 2000, more than 10 years after the original suit was filed, the State of Tennessee issued a check to OOIDA in the amount of $583,700 for attorneys’ fee and costs.

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