The Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA), while reducing the scope of regulation, creates a cause of action for “private enforcement of the Motor Carrier Act in court.” 49 U.S.C. §§ 101 et seq.; 49 U.S.C. § 14704; H. Rep. No. 104-222, at 221-22 (1995), reprinted in 1995-2 U.S.C.C.A.N. 850, 906-07.
A private damage suit based on § 14704 of the ICCTA has been allowed owner-operators against a motor carrier for violation of truth-in-leasing regulations. Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. v. New Prime, Inc., 192 F. 3d 778 (8th Cir. 1999), cert. denied, New Prime v. Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Ass’n., Inc., 529 U.S. 1066 (2000). See also, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Ass’n. v. Mayflower Transit, 161 F. Supp. 2d 948 (S.D. Ind. 2001). Contra, Renteria v. K&R Transportation, Inc., 1999 WL 33268638 (C.D. Cal. 1999).
Availability of a § 14704 cause of action for personal injury based directly on violation of the FMCSA is uncertain. In Marrier v. New Penn Motor Express, Inc.,140 F. Supp. 2d 326 (D. Vt. 2001), the court held that a dock worker had a private right of action under § 14704 for violation of 49 U.S.C.A § 1410(a), which requires carriers to a safe workplace and adequate equipment.
However, in Stewart v. Mitchell Transport, 241 F. Supp. 2d 1216 (D. Kan. 2002),in which the plaintiff failed to allege violation of a specific FMCSA, the court rejected an independent cause of action for personal injury, holding that congressional intent was to create a private right of action for commercial disputes but not for personal injury.
In Hall v. Aloha International Moving Service, Inc.,2002 WL 1835469 (D. Minn. 2002), the court rejected a property loss claim under § 14704 because the plaintiff had not shown that damages resulted from the alleged violation of a regulation. While most personal injury cases are based on negligence theories, counsel may consider including a cause of action for damages proximately caused by violation of federal regulations under an analysis similar to negligence per se or strict liability, with serious implications regarding the duty of a motor carrier to preserve evidence, and potentially a statutory claim for attorney fees. See generally, 49 U.S.C. § 14704(e);”The Private Right of Action under 49 U.S.C. § 14704 a New Theory of Recovery for Personal Injury Plaintiffs?,” 34-FALL Brief 32, 36+ (2004).

The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “SuperLawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks).