FRESNO –– A California appellate court will award attorney fees in litigation involving new regulations for trucks and buses in the state.
Judge Mark Snaufer of the Fifth Appellate District ruled Lawson Rock & Oil and the California Trucking Association deserve attorney fees after they successfully sued the State Air Resources Board for unfairly implementing the new rules.
Lawson Rock & Oil and the California Trucking Association filed the lawsuit in 2014 after the State Air Resources Board amended its regulations to improve air quality. Lawson and the trucking association say they invested millions of dollars to adhere to the new rules before the state's deadline, but the board changed the rules to allow other companies more time to comply.
This created a competitive advantage for those companies who did not have to invest the money to adhere to the new rules, the lawsuit contended.
The appellate court agreed with the lower court's decision that the board violated the California Environmental Quality Act and the state's Administrative Procedures Act, but ruled the lower court improperly awarded fees to Lawson Rock & Oil, but not the trucking association
Lawson and the trucking association seek attorneys fees of more than $149,000 with interest.
"The decision to award attorneys’ fees to Lawson Rock & Oil s affirmed while those portions of the judgment calculating the fees awarded and denying attorneys’ fees to the California Trucking Association are reversed," Snaufer wrote.
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