Monthly Archives: November 2006

Grandmother killed by 18-wheeler tow truck crashing into bus stop

Yesterday in Margate, Florida, a woman sitting on a bench at a bus stop was when an 18-wheeler crashed into the bus stop and trapped her dead body under tons of twisted metal and a maze of downed power lines. According to police and media reports, a flatbed tow truck was heading east on U.S. … Continue Reading

Social utility of litigation

Today’s Washington Post includes an article about a case arising from  the death of a college freshman under the care of poorly supervised, overworked and highly fatigued young doctors. The resulting malpractice litigation set in motion a series of reforms, most notably a series of work hour limitations instituted by the Accreditation Council on Graduate … Continue Reading

4 killed, 5 hospitalized in Las Vegas freeway truck crash

Las Vegas, NV, 11/17/06.   A tractor trailer hauling paper products may have been going 60 mph when it slammed into a stop-and-go line of cars proceeding in two lanes through a construction zone on I-15.  Four people were killed, five people were hospitalized.  The truck driver, identified as Milson Sabino Oliveira Filho, 51, was … Continue Reading

$1 million verdict for death of inmate in conservative rural county

Georgia juries are capable of surpassing expectations.  An example occurred this week in Marion County, population 7,144 according to the 2000 census.  It is the prototype of the conservative, predominantly white rural Georgia county.  I have been told that the highest jury verdict in the history of the county prior to this week was $10,000.
The … Continue Reading

The case of the one-eyed truck driver

I have nothing against anyone with an impairment of vision or hearing.  I couldn’t live in my house if I did.  But sometimes safety trumps equal opportunity. One of those circumstances is in the operation of 80,000 pound tractor trailers at 70 mph on public highways.  Recently we encountered a situation in which a truck … Continue Reading

What is MCS-90?

The MCS-90 is an endorsement on a trucking company’s liability insurance policy, required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which serves the function of a surety for safety of the public. Even if the the trucking company is not entitled to liability coverage due to some exception or exclusion in the insurance policy, an … Continue Reading

Liability of motor carrier or cargo broker for negligent selection of independent contractor

Occasionally, a motor carrier or freight broker may be held liable for negligent hiring of an incompetent independent contractor if it should have known, or might by the exercise of reasonable care could have found out, that the contractor was not competent. 

A competent contractor is defined as "a contractor who possesses the knowledge, skill, … Continue Reading

Liability for trucking companies under Restatement rule

The "statutory employee" rules regarding "independent contractor" truck drivers generally are sufficient to hold trucking companies financially responsible for their drivers’ negligence. However, when there are gaps to be filled an old Restatement of Torts rule that was used by courts prior to development of the "statutory employee" rule, may be just the right tool … Continue Reading

“Statutory employee” rules make trucking companies always responsible for independent contractor truck drivers

During the first half of the twentieth-century, interstate motor carriers attempted to immunize themselves from liability for negligent drivers by hiring inadequately insured, risky trucks and their drivers – like C&C and the Carnleys in this case.  The companies would classify the drivers who operated the trucks as "independent contractors," and disclaim any association when … Continue Reading

Revenue shortfall & increased truck traffic may force more toll roads in Georgia

I have written several times this year about proposals for toll lanes for trucks on metro Atlanta interstate highways.  An article this week shows another reason why this may become a necessity.
The Georgia Department of Transportation expects to spend $160 billion on road construction projects between 2005 and 2035. But revenues from the motor … Continue Reading