Court: Some rail rate talks allowed in price-fixing suits

Court: Some rail rate talks allowed in price-fixing suits

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By JOSH FUNK
AP Business Writer

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Some of the details of rate conversations between the nation’s four largest railroads will now be included in lawsuits challenging billions of dollars of charges the railroads charged, but this week’s mixed ruling from a federal appeals court will also exclude some documents. The ruling will likely set up more arguments as Union Pacific, BNSF, Norfolk Southern and CSX railroads defend themselves against dozens of lawsuits accusing them of conspiring to inflate their rates between 2003 and 2007 with coordinated fuel surcharges. The key to determining what evidence is admissible will be whether the conversations relate to shipments that cross multiple railroads or not because railroads are allowed to discuss those shared shipments.

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