S.C. Johnson v. Transport Corporation of America

On September 21, 2012, Bancroft lawyers Paul D. Clement and D. Zachary Hudson secured a victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on behalf of S.C. Johnson in S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. v. Transport Corporation of America, 697 F.3d 544 (7th Cir. 2012). S.C. Johnson had filed suit against former employees and transportation service providers alleging that they had perpetrated a bribery and kickback scheme. The District Court dismissed the action on the grounds that S.C. Johnson’s state law claims were preempted by federal law because they “related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier . . . with respect to the transportation of property.” In a unanimous opinion, the Seventh Circuit reversed. The Court held that S.C. Johnson’s claims “based on bribery and kickbacks fall outside the scope of the” federal law’s preemption provision.