Swift ordered to pay rival CRST more than $15 million in driver poaching lawsuit

A federal jury ordered Swift Transportation, a unit of Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. (NYSE: KNX), to pay its trucking rival more than $15 million for allegedly poaching drivers who were under contract to CRST Expedited, which is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Iowa in March 2017, CRST claims Swift purposely recruited and hired drivers who had completed CRST’s driver training program to obtain their commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), but were still contractually obligated to work for the motor carrier for 10 months.

In the suit, CRST identified more than 250 drivers who had signed 10-month employment contracts with the carrier that were later recruited by Swift.

Starting in 2016, CRST claims it received more than 150 employment verification requests from Swift, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, for drivers who were still under contract to work for CRST. 

Court documents allege that each time CRST received an employment verification for one of its drivers still under contract, it sent correspondence to Swift, “notifying it of the driver’s contractual commitment to CRST.”

The jury found that Swift intentionally and improperly interfered with CRST drivers’ contracts, awarding it $3 million, $5 million in punitive damages and $7.5 million for unjust enrichment.

The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes Knight-Swift Transportation (No. 3) and CRST (No. 20).


  1. Swift n trouble w the feds again. All the trkg company’s do it stealing drivers from each other and paying high dollar sign on bonuses sad…

  2. It’s Trucking, the only reason they went after a swift is because of the Swift name. Swift as a company also stopped hiring drivers from certain schools because schools were using these companies to train their drivers and then go somewhere else it happens every day all day all the damn time.
    But blame the company and not the driver who’s breaking the contract, it’s what people do no accountability. Wether you hate Swift or not this is an absolute joke lawsuit, and someone fishing for money because they’re losing drivers by a practice that happens in the entire Transportation industry.

Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 14 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to