CRST sued Swift over driver poaching — and won $15.5 million

Two of the nation’s largest trucking companies went to court over claims of driver poaching — and one of them came away millions of dollars richer.

On July 23, an Iowa court ruled in favor of Cedar Rapids-based trucking company CRST Expedited in a lawsuit filed against Swift Transportation in March 2017.

In the lawsuit, CRST argued that Swift was actively recruiting drivers who had gone through CRST’s CDL training program in exchange for the drivers agreeing not to work for another company for a 10 month period after they completed their training.

CRST says that Swift poached at least 250 drivers who had signed 10 month non-compete contracts from their company.

The suit says that since 2016, CRST received 150 employment verifications from Swift for drivers still under the 10 month contract and that each time, they responded to Swift to let them know that the driver was under “contractual commitment to CRST.”

CRST’s legal team argued that the driver poaching scheme gave Swift an unfair economic advantage given the time and financial resources that went into training the drivers.

The jury agreed that Swift’s actions were “intentional and improper” and awarded CRST a total of $15.5 million.

It isn’t clear whether Swift intends to appeal the ruling.

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