Rival carriers rush to assist stranded Celadon drivers
Story by: Eric Kulisch @FreightWaves
Drivers for Celadon Group Inc. (OTC: CGIP) appear to have been the last ones to find out about the company’s imminent bankruptcy and shutdown of its over-the-road trucking operation, leaving many of them stranded on highways with no instructions on how to dispose of their rigs and freight or assistance getting home.
Some of Celadon’s competitors are stepping into the breach to help drivers get home, but before they abandon their vehicles there are steps they should take to protect themselves from liability, experts say.
Company drivers “need to find a safe location to park the truck, like a truck stop or rest stop, take pictures of the truck, hide the keys, document the location and where the keys are, and send all that information to the company,” Cassandra Gaines, a transportation attorney and head of Gaines Law Group LLC in Scottsdale, Arizona, said in a phone interview.
She stressed that trucks not be left on the side of the road because of the danger of being hit by another vehicle.
Drivers are on their own to find the bus, air, rail or other transportation home, but should keep receipts because there may be options to file as a creditor with the bankruptcy court, depending on their state of employment, Gaines said.
Independent owner-operators who provided service to Celadon are contractually obligated to complete their assignment, Gaines advised, but should keep their receipts because they can submit any expenses for possible reimbursement or sue in small claims court.
And drivers owed unpaid wages should file a claim in bankruptcy court, although there’s no guarantee they will get any money, she said.
Celadon has about 3,000 drivers and about 2,700 tractors across its North American operations.
FreightWaves was first to report (Dec. 6) that Celadon is going under because it defaulted on loan covenants and couldn’t secure additional financing. An official bankruptcy filing is expected next week.
Read the full story, and see a list of carriers who offering help, for stranded Celadon drivers HERE
Related story: Biggest bankruptcy in trucking history expected by mid-week
( Clarissa Hawes contributed to this story)
Source and credits: freightwaves.com / Eric Kulisch / iTrucker / Mario Pawlowski