Resolve a conflict between a railroad and its customer where service had been terminated and the parties were in court.
The shipper believed that the railroad’s operating problems were behind the delays in dispute, and therefore, the assessed charges were invalid. The railroad insisted that it was in the right to assess penalties, end service and file suit. All appeals to reason or to settle resulted in matters becoming more and more convoluted. At a time when the shipper was growing, and needed more, not less rail service, the impasse brought the business to a standstill.
OTNA signed on to provide mediation between the parties. OTNA immediately set the pace and designed an informal case hearing process with both parties being asked to commit in good faith to adhering to the concluding decision. Case material was presented for OTNA review and one-on-one interviews were held. The circumstances of the case were brought to light and a settlement was reached before the issue reached the courts. The process was focused beyond resolution to the full scope of opportunities available if both parties established an even better relationship than before the dispute.
With this vision, both parties realized a win-win development much greater than the cost to each party of the settlement. Service resumed and the growing railcar volumes advanced both businesses success.