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Trucking company sues to overturn suspension for six overpass strikes in two years

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A British Columbia trucking company is suing transportation officials in a bid to return to the road after their fleet was grounded in the wake of a December overpass strike.

Trucking company Chohan Freight Forwarders Ltd. has sued B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation to resume normal operations, according to a report from CBC. The company says that they’ve lost millions waiting for transportation officials to respond following an overpass strike in late December.

Why Was B.C. Trucking Company Suspended?

Chohan Freight Forwarders, a family-run business operating 65 trucks, was suspended from operation on December 28, 2023, after one of the company’s trucks traveling south on Highway 99 in Delta, B.C. struck the 112th Street overpass, leaving a girder wedged underneath and causing significant damage to the structure.

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said that this was the sixth overpass strike in two years involving a Chohan Freight Forwarders truck. The agency opted to suspend the company’s safety certificate effective on January 29, meaning that the entire 65 truck fleet has been unable to operate since that time.

Following the crash, Chohan Freight Forwarders said that the fault was with an owner-operator, not a company driver, who “failed to wait to receive his permit and route directions for his oversized load.”

Lawsuit Claims Trucking Company Has Lost Millions

In a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Chohan Freight Forwarders says that they’re currently stuck in suspension waiting for their safety certificate to be officially cancelled. While a cancellation could be appealed, a suspension cannot, leaving the company in a state of limbo.

Meanwhile, Chohan Freight Forwarders says that they are losing about $1 million per week in addition to losing clients and contracts.

From the petition:

As a result of the suspension, [Chohan Freight Forwarders Ltd.’s] 63 drivers and affiliated owner-operators, many of whom are the sole income [earners] for their families, became unable to work and suffered (and continue to suffer) corresponding hardship.

Chohan Freight Forwarders is asking for transportation officials to either remove the full-fleet suspension or to cancel the company’s safety certificate.

Alberta-based trucking Chohan Group Ltd. has also filed suit against transportation officials for treating their company as the same entity as Chohan Freight Forwarders Inc. Chohan Group Ltd. is run by the son of the owner of Chohan Freight Forwarders Inc.

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