The STAA (Surface Transportation Assistance Act), which also covers truck driver whistleblower cases, gives truck drivers a right to refuse to drive a commercial vehicle when it would violate the law to do so.
Examples include driver fatigue or illness, unwillingness to participate in an illegal activity, or a reasonable belief that a vehicle is unsafe because of worn tires, missing headlights, or low air pressure in brake system. STAA is supposed to protect drivers by preventing firing or other retaliatory action from truck companies. However, without effective legal representation those rights can be meaningless.
I don’t handle STAA claims. I could probably fill up my caseload with them, based on the number of calls I get from truck drivers whose employers insist that they run illegally, but there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything.
If you are a truck driver whose employer gives you a choice between running illegal or losing your job, you might contact Truckers Justice Center , 900 West 128th Street, Suite 104, Burnsville, MN 55337, Telephone 952.224.9166, Fax 678.791.1728.
Ken Shigley is a trucking safety trial attorney representing seriously injured people in tractor trailer, big rig, intermodal container freight, cement truck, dump truck and bus accidents statewide in Georgia. He served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute in 2005, is a national board member of the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, and is on the National Advisory Board for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.
He has extensive experience representing parties in interstate trucking collision cases, and in the past two years has spoken at national interstate trucking litigation seminars in Chicago (trucking insurance), New Orleans (trial tactics and side underride issues), St. Louis (punitive damages), San Francisco (dealing with insolvent trucking companies), Atlanta (trucking insurance, closing argument), Nashville (use of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations), and Amelia Island (overview of trucking litigation).
A Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he has been listed as a “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta Magazine), among the “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale). In addition to trucking litigation, he has broad experience in products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, spinal cord injury, brain injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is Treasurer and a candidate for President-Elect of the 41,000 member State Bar of Georgia.This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.