Celadon brings U.S. bankruptcy to Canada in victory for ex-Hyndman drivers

Celadon Group brought its U.S. bankruptcy to a Canadian court Thursday, more than six weeks after shutting down its Ontario truckload carrier, Hyndman Transport. The move was a victory for former drivers and staff seeking more than C$2 million in unpaid compensation.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Glenn Hainey agreed in a hearing in Toronto to recognize Celadon’s U.S. Chapter 11 proceedings and appointed a receiver to oversee the liquidation of Hyndman’s assets, namely its headquarters and two terminals.

The decision has the immediate effect of allowing former Hyndman truck drivers and other personnel to secure compensation from the Canadian government for former employees of bankrupt companies. Those payments can reach more than C$7,000 depending on how much they’re owed.

The receivership also means former Hyndman personnel will be able to collect up to C$2,000 as creditors with priority standing under Canadian law.

The appointment of a receiver will slow the sale of Hyndman’s assets and distribution to Celadon’s creditors. But it also could lead to higher proceeds from the Hyndman properties.

Celadon’s appearance in a Canadian court came following pressure from more than 200 former Hyndman personnel, mostly drivers, in the wake of news that the U.S. company was planning to sell off Canadian assets.

“This is very good for them,” Andrew Hatnay, the Toronto labor lawyer representing the former Hyndman personnel, told FreightWaves.

Edmond Lamek, the lawyer representing Celadon and Hyndman in Canada, declined to comment.