The stakes are high and could potentially mean Swift Transportation owes drivers hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay.
According to Carey, the problem stems from a software program that the company still uses. "You should be able to use some software for administrative convenience, but at the end of the day, it has to come out accurately," says Carey, who has been working on the suit against Swift for several years now.
"The software program uniformly short-changes people on average by 7 to 10 percent," says Carey. "It's a lot of money that should have been in the truckers' pockets in the first place."
The suit was recently certified by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge after a long period of legal debate over who could be included in the class.
Carey says he's now looking forward to the discovery process.
"We will now be able to go in and get the information we need for our case," says Carey. "We will be able to get the specifics on how the software program does what it does, why it does it and how long Swift knew about it, and how much it short-paid people. It's all the 'nitty-gritty' that is necessary to go to trial."
A number of other trucking companies also use software to estimate trucker mileage. "We are looking at other companies with truckers with similar complaints," says Carey.
Robert Carey is a partner with the Hagens Berman firm in Phoenix, Arizona. He is also a former Chief Deputy Attorney General for the state of Arizona. His practice focuses on class-action lawsuits against a variety of organizations and companies. He is currently helping Steve Berman (who was appointed co-lead counsel) with the Toyota Unintended Acceleration class action. Carey has prosecuted several claims against auto manufacturers, such as Hyundai and Toyota for vehicle defects.