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US Judge Cancels CSX Jury Trial In Rail Antitrust Case

 |  January 4, 2023

The judge canceled a jury trial scheduled for Jan. 18 and converted it instead to a bench trial on whether CSX is entitled to an injunction on a matter involving another defendant, the Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad a joint venture formed in the late 19th Century by a collection of railroads.
CSX had accused Norfolk Southern of a decades-long effort to exclude it from rail access at the Norfolk terminal. But Davis said in his ruling that CSX’s federal antitrust claims were outside of a four-year legal window and therefore time-barred.

The two rail companies are among the country’s largest freight carriers, and they compete to transport containers that arrive at U.S. ports.

Related: DOJ Raises Competitive Concerns Over CSX-Pan Am Merger 

CSX co-owns Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line with Norfolk Southern, which is a majority owner. CSX had accused Norfolk Southern of colluding with Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line to harm CSX.

Davis said a ruling that would back CSX on its antitrust allegations “would turn the legal test for damages on its head by allowing a plaintiff that has slept on its rights for years to resurrect a time-barred claim on the basis of supposition rather than evidence.”