California Truckers Gear Up For Emissions Suit
July 12, 1999
Now that a judge has approved an agreement reached last fall between six truck engine makers and the federal government regarding violation of emissions standards, a class action suit is going forward in California against the engine makers.
Mark Algorri, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, expects the suit to be filed at the end of this week in Los Angeles Superior Court. Algorri is representing a number of trucking companies, both large and small, as well as owner-operators who bought electronic engines that the U.S. EPA has accused of violating federal clean air standards.
Algorri maintains that truck owners are entitled to relief because they were not included in the talks between the government and the engine makers that settled a federal EPA lawsuit against the manufacturers. These engines must be retrofit during a scheduled engine rebuild, he says, and their owners should be compensated for any additional costs, downtime, and the fact that the engines will probably not perform as well after the changes and may have decreased resale value.
"The truck engine manufacturers violated relevant parts of the business and professions code, unfair competition in California," Algorri says. "In other words, they sold defective products to innocent victims, and these innocent victims, the truckers, are left holding the bag."