As a trucking safety trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, and engaged with attorneys handling these cases from coast to coast, I try to keep up with the continuing shell game as the folks responsible for putting truckers on the road and pushing them often beyond both the rules and their capacity, seek to avoid accountability to people they hurt.
A recent article by Robert Franklin in Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Quarterly, titled “But I didn’t do it!”: Expanding Theories of Vicarious Liability,” is a pretty good outline of liability theories against brokers and shippers, and defenses against each of those theories of liabilty.
It includes discussion of claims for:
* negligent hiring
* negligent entrustment * failure to provide “safe and adequate service, equipment, and facilities”
* status of a broker as a motor carrier under the regulations * aiding and abetting a motor carrier’s violation of the regulations * negligent selection of an independent contractor * truck driver for Company A as permissive user of trailer owned and insured by Company B
We have dealt with most of these theories and defense in our cases, but there are always new wrinkles to consider.
Ken Shigley is a trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia who 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), and is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute, is on the National Advisory Board for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, and is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education programs for the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in trucking and bus accidents, products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, spinal cord injury, brain injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is Secretary of the 40,000 member State Bar of Georgia.This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.