ONE sues Union Pacific over Los Angeles cargo thefts

A Union Pacific locomotive passes by an industrial plant.Container shipping company ONE might be held liable for a missed shipment of solar panels because of cargo thefts that occurred near Los Angeles earlier this year, and so it wants Union Pacific to be liable, too.

A Union Pacific locomotive passes by an industrial plant.

Japanese container shipping company Ocean Network Express is suing Union Pacific over cargo theft that occurred on UP’s intermodal trains in Southern California earlier this year.

According to ONE’s legal filing in the U.S. District Court for Nebraska, UP (NYSE: UNP) was contracted to deliver solar panels from China to Salt Lake City via the Port of Los Angeles, but when the panels arrived at Salt Lake City, the container’s door was missing and the panels had been stolen.

ONE estimates the claim for failing to deliver the solar panels is worth just under $15,800. If ONE is held liable for the claim, UP should also be held responsible for failing to deliver the cargo, attorneys for ONE argued.

“ONE is entitled to indemnity against Union Pacific for any and all sums which ONE may be required to pay on the underlying claim, whether by judgment or settlement, including attorneys’ fees and expenses,” ONE said in its June 3 filing.

UP didn’t return a request for comment. But last fall and through January, UP was experiencing a spike in robberies on the railroad’s property in Los Angeles. The thefts involved trespassers climbing onto trains and breaking into cargo containers, and UP sought local and state help in addressing the spike in addition to deploying its own police force. UP was also pressing local law enforcement for stricter penalties. 

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