Carrier, Owner-Operators Battle Over Lease Agreements
July 11, 2000
Millsap & Son Trucking, Emory, Texas, and former owner-operators leased to the company may end up in court over allegations of lease violations and non-payment of funds owed.
The furor started in May, when Glenn Bullock of Lone Star, Texas, reportedly sued Millsap & Son, claiming the company committed a breach of contract by voiding five lease agreements with Bullock in February.
According to published reports, Randy Millsap, president of the company, admitted that he owed Bullock about $5,000 - but said that Bullock owed him $60,000 for a shipment of produce ruined by one of Bullock's drivers. Millsap reportedly voided the lease agreements with Bullock because Bullock didn't buy insurance or have his drivers tested for drugs, charges Bullock denied.
Millsap filed a countersuit against Bullock for the $60,000. Bullock said the insurance company had already compensated the company for the produce load.
Apparently Bullock isn't the only unhappy owner-operator when it comes to Millsap & Sons. Approximately 20 other owner-operators have complained to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. that Millsap owes them money. OOIDA offers its members a collection service.
In the latest twist, Millsap & Son is reportedly threatening to sue the drivers who complained. Willie Austin of Hubert, NC, has been threatened with a lawsuit if he doesn't pay Millsap $11,000 for violating his lease agreement. Austin said he quit Millsap in February because the company owed him more than $3,000. He filed a complaint with OOIDA.
According to published reports, Millsap says drivers sign a year's lease at $1,375 a month, but drivers receive all revenue. However, if a driver quits before serving a year, earned revenue is applied to the lease. While Millsap says he's simply trying to hold his drivers to their contract, OOIDA's Todd Spencer says the leases say either party can terminate the contract.
"Clearly we believe that the drivers are entitled to the compensation they should have received for the loads that they hauled," Spencer told Truckinginfo.com, "and any financial obligation they would have to the carrier would end when the lease terminates."
Efforts by Truckinginfo.com to reach Millsap directly have thus far been unsuccessful.