Slover & Loftus’s client, Central Valley Ag Grinding, Inc. (“CVAG”) is a major receiver and transloader of vital agricultural commodities for the dairy industry in California’s Central Valley. Deliveries to CVAG are handled by a short line railroad, the Modesto and Empire Traction Company (“MET”). Beginning in late 2017, MET attempted to impose onerous prepay and other delivery requirements on CVAG. CVAG sought relief at the Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) and obtained a rare interim injunction from the STB on June 12, 2018, requiring the railroad to provide reasonable service during the pendency of the complaint proceeding. (See Slover & Loftus LLP client granted Preliminary Injunction.)
Following the granting of the injunction, the parties agreed to mediate the dispute through the STB’s alternative dispute resolution procedures. The STB-sponsored mediation occurred in conjunction with mediation in related California state court litigation. The parties reached a successful settlement in April 2019, fully and finally resolving their disputes and preserving continuing and uninterrupted rail service of essential dairy feed commodities to CVAG.