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Defending Freight Brokers and Transportation Intermediaries: New FMCSA Guidance; Preemption Under Ying Ye v. GlobalTranz

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Thursday, September 28, 2023

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will discuss defending freight brokers from claims of negligence and vicarious liability after a trucking accident. The panel will discuss the significance of Ying Ye v. GlobalTranz Enterprises Inc., No. 22-1805 (7th Cir. July 18, 2023) and new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidance regarding, among other things, the interpretation of the definitions of "brokers" and "bona fide agents."


Persons injured in trucking accidents often sue brokers and other "transportation intermediaries," who can become liable under theories such as negligent hiring/negligent entrustment, vicarious liability, or by assuming liability in a contract. Two recent legal events may have changed these options.

First, the FMSCA, on June 16, 2023, published final regulatory guidance on the definitions of "brokers" and "bona fide agents," the role of dispatch services in the transportation industry, the activities of load boards, how to determine when a dispatch service is acting as a broker or bona fide agent, and factors indicating when a dispatcher does and does not require broker authority. In addition, the FMCSA clarified the final penalties for unauthorized brokerage activities.

Second, the Seventh Circuit in Ying Ye v. GlobalTranz Enterprises Inc. joined the Eleventh Circuit in holding that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) preempts negligence claims against freight brokers, notwithstanding an exception under the FAAAA that preemption does not apply to "the safety regulatory authority of a State with respect to motor vehicles." Attorneys in this area will need guidance about the scope of preemption and whether any state law causes of action remain available.

Listen as our panel of experienced trucking litigators discusses the impact of these events on claims against brokers and other transportation intermediaries.



  1. Theories of liability against brokers/ transportation intermediaries
  2. Effect of FMCSA guidance of theories of liability and defenses
  3. Effect and limits of Ying Ye v. GlobalTranz


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How does final regulatory guidance on the definitions of "brokers" and "bona fide agents" and other matters help in defending brokers or others?
  • How does the rationale in the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits compare?
  • What claims are not preempted under the FAAAA?


Bertkau, Bradley
Bradley A. Bertkau

Canty Novy Bertkau Gordon

Mr. Bertkau provides litigation defense for large and small corporations and individuals, including cases where his...  |  Read More

Miller, Jeffrey P.
Jeffrey P. Miller

Gentry Locke

Mr. Miller is a member of the firm’s Civil Defense Litigation practice group. He represents his clients in...  |  Read More

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