Continental Express Hits Bumpy Road

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, May. 4, 2009 12:00 am  

Ralph Bradbury, right, the former president of Continental Express Inc., and Pete Campbell, the former executive vice president of CEI, were the only two executives retained by the Celadon Group Inc., which bought the truckload, intermodal and brokerage b

Celadon said in its answer that it never employed the plaintiffs. It asked that the case be dismissed.

Continental also is dealing with a 2002 accident involving one of its drivers.

The driver was at an Ohio truck stop when he ran over a man’s leg, which resulted in its amputation, Michael Bruno of Toledo, Ohio, the attorney who represented the plaintiff, said last week.

The victim, Sean McManhon of Park Rapids, Minn., sued Continental and argued that the driver was acting within the “course and scope of his employment,” Bruno said.

A jury in Wood County, Ohio, in October awarded $1.25 million to McManhon.

McManhon hasn’t been paid yet.

Financial Trouble
One of the first signs of trouble came in October, when Continental failed to pay its $15,000 monthly rent payment to Fleet Equipment Leasing LLC of Memphis, according to a lawsuit filed in January in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

The rent was owed on 50 Great Dane over-the-road trailers. The lawsuit said Continental didn’t make its November, December or January payments either.

Fleet said Continental also failed to return the 50 trailers. At first, it was suing for at least $560,000, which included the price of the trailers and the overdue rent. But by the end of February, 38 of the 50 trailers had been returned, according to paperwork filed in the case, so Continental owed only $120,000 for the trailers at the end of February.

Mark Hodge of Little Rock, who is the attorney for Fleet, said last week that he didn’t know how many trailers were still unaccounted for. Continental has been “cooperative in returning the trucks,” he said.

Continental, though, hasn’t filed an answer in the case.

Another company also filed a lawsuit saying Continental was $24,000 behind on its fuel bill.



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