United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
March 22, 2004.
UNITED VAN LINES, LLC, Plaintiff,
ROBERT RAPP, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: WAYNE ANDERSEN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This case is before the Court on the motion of Plaintiff United Van
Lines, Inc. ("United") for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56. For the following reasons, the motion is granted.
The material facts are undisputed. United is an interstate motor
carrier of household goods and furnishings. On or about July 13, 2001,
Defendant Robert Rapp entered into and accepted a Bill of Lading contract
with United for the interstate shipment of Rapp's cargo from Barrington,
Illinois to Scottsdale, Arizona, The Bill of Lading designated United as
the carrier and Rapp as the shipper. On or about July 20, 2001, United
delivered Rapp's property to the designated address in Scottsdale,
Arizona. At that time, Rapp executed the Bill of Lading as consignee,
acknowledging delivery of the goods and United's performance of its
duties under the contract. United's total tariff charges for the shipment
of Defendant's property amounted to $ 17,559.10. At the time the contract
was signed and prior to the shipment, Rapp prepaid
$1,915.10. At the time the goods were delivered, Rapp paid $8,423,87,
Thus, in total, Rapp has paid United $10,338.97, leaving an unpaid
balance of $ 7,220.13.
United filed the instant action to collect the outstanding tariff
charges. United has now moved for summary judgment. In response to the
summary judgment motion, Rapp argues that when the goods were delivered,
he believed that the amount he was paying was payment in full for all
services. Rapp argues that the payment which United is now requesting is
more than the estimate he was quoted by United.
Summary judgment is appropriate where "the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The court must "review the record in
the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable
inferences in that party's favor." Vanasco. v. National-Louis Univ.,
137 F.3d 962, 964 (7th Cir. 1998). Nevertheless, the party who bears the
burden of proof on an issue may not rest on the pleadings, but must
affirmatively demonstrate that there is a genuine issue of material fact
that requires trial. Warsco. v. Preferred Technical Group, 258 F.3d 557,
563 (7th Cir. 2001).
As an interstate motor carrier of household goods, United is subject to
the provisions of the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of
1996, 49 U.S.C. § 13101 et seq. (the "Act"). Under the Act, a motor
carrier like United is required to publish its rates for interstate
transportation of household goods in a tariff filed with the Interstate
Commerce Commission and is required to charge and collect rates for
transportation in strict accordance with the filed tariff.
49 U.S.C. § 13702(a)(2). The filed rate cannot be varied by a separate
agreement of the parties, nor can payment of the rate charged in
accordance with the filed tariff be avoided by reason of equitable
defenses. See 49 U.S.C. § 13702(c); Maislin v. Primary Steel, 497 U.S. 116,
In this case, the Bill of Lading for Rapp's property, signed by Rapp as
shipper and consignee acknowledging delivery of the goods, expressly and
clearly sets forth his liability for applicable tariff charges. The Bill
of Lading incorporates by reference United's published tariffs. Thus, the
documents Rapp signed as shipper and consignee clearly set forth his
liability for applicable tariff charges. Rapp may not avoid his liability
to United for the tariff charges based on the fact that the estimate
which United provided was less. The estimate for services Rapp was quoted
was based on an order for service to transport 12,800 pounds of property.
Rapp, in fact, tendered 30,860 pounds of property to be transported.
In sum, the tariff charges for services rendered to Rapp are
recoverable from him as the consignee or shipper, and pursuant to the
terms of the Bill of Lading and United's published tariffs incorporated
therein by reference. Moreover, Rapp cannot, and has not, argued that
payment for all of United's services has been made, that the services were
not rendered, or that the services were charged under an inapplicable
For these reasons, summary judgment is granted in United's favor.
For the foregoing reasons, we grant the motion for summary judgment
filed by Plaintiff United Van Lines, LLC (# 20-1). Judgment is hereby
entered in favor of United Van Lines, LLC
in the amount of $ 7,220.13 plus pre-judgment interest and costs in
the amount of $ 287. This case is hereby terminated. This is a final and
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