United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division
FEDERAL INSURANCE COMPANY a/s/o GREGORY POOLE EQUIPMENT CO., a corporation, Plaintiff,
ROYAL AUTO TRANS INC., a corporation; STRATEGIC TRANSPORT, INC., a corporation; and T.G.R. LOGISTICS INC., a corporation, Defendants.
M. Anderson Anderson And Yamada, P.C., Attorney for Defendant
Strategic Transport, Inc.
J. Payne Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, LLP,
Marc S. Blubaugh Kelly E. Mulrane Benesch, Friedlander,
Coplan & Aronoff, LLP, Attorneys for Defendant T.G.R.
OPINION & ORDER
A HERNÁNDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant T.G.R. Logistics, Inc.
(“T.G.R.”)'s motion to dismiss Defendant
Strategic Transport, Inc. (“STI”)'s
crossclaims. For the reasons that follow, the motion is
STI is an authorized property broker registered pursuant to
49 U.S.C. § 13904. STI Amended Answer and Crossclaims
¶ 31, ECF 40. T.G.R. is a Washington corporation that
operates as an authorized motor carrier registered pursuant
to 49 U.S.C. § 13902. Id. ¶ 32. Both STI
and T.G.R. are defendants in the lawsuit brought by Plaintiff
Federal Insurance Company a/s/o Gregory Poole Equipment Co.
to this motion, STI, acting as a broker on behalf of Gregory
Poole Equipment Co., alleges that it entered into a contract
with T.G.R. Id. ¶ 33. Under the terms of that
contract, T.G.R. agreed to transport an industrial air
compressor from Oregon to North Carolina using its own
equipment. Id. STI alleges that T.G.R. breached that
contract when it “double brokered the shipment”
to Defendant Royal Auto Trans Inc. without STI's
knowledge or consent. Id. ¶ 34.
brings crossclaims against T.G.R. for (1) breach of contract;
(2) contractual indemnity; and (3) common law indemnity.
motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the claims. Navarro v.
Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). “All
allegations of material fact are taken as true and construed
in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.”
Am. Family Ass'n, Inc. v. City & Cnty. of
S.F., 277 F.3d 1114, 1120 (9th Cir. 2002). To survive a
motion to dismiss, a complaint “must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face[, ]” meaning “the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation
marks omitted). A complaint must contain “well-pleaded
facts” which “permit the court to infer more than
the mere possibility of misconduct[.]” Id. at
the court need not accept conclusory allegations as truthful.
Warren v. Fox Family Worldwide, Inc., 328 F.3d 1136,
1139 (9th Cir. 2003). (“[W]e are not required to accept
as true conclusory allegations which are contradicted by
documents referred to in the complaint, and we do not
necessarily assume the truth of legal conclusions merely
because they are cast in the form of factual
allegations”) (internal quotation marks, citation, and
alterations omitted). A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6)
will be granted if a plaintiff alleges the
“grounds” of his “entitlement to
relief” with nothing “more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action[.]” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). “Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level on the assumption that all the
allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in
fact)[.]” Id. (citations and footnote
moves to dismiss STI's crossclaims, alleging that each
cause of action is preempted by 49 U.S.C. § 14706 (the
“Carmack Amendment”). The Carmack Amendment
“established a uniform national liability policy for
interstate carriers, and preempts all state and common law
claims against a carrier for damage to or loss of
goods.” InTransit, Inc. v. Excel N. Am. Rd.
Transp., Inc., 426 F.Supp.2d 1136, 1139-40 (D. Or.
first argues that T.G.R. is a broker and the Carmack
Amendment does not preempt claims against brokers. See,
e.g., Chubb Group of Ins. Companies v. H.A. Transp.
Systems, Inc., 243 F.Supp.2d 1064 (C.D. Cal. 2002);
Rohr, Inc. v. UPS-Supply Chain Solutions, Inc., 939
F.Supp.2d 1041 (S.D. Cal. 2013); Professional
Communications, Inc. v. Contract Freighters, Inc., 171
F.Supp.2d. 546, 551 (D. Md. 2001); Independent
Machinery, 867 ...