Bits & Pieces

CAB Bits & Pieces April 2024

Hello Friends,  

Happy Spring! What interesting experiences Mother Nature is throwing our way as we continue through convention season.

We wanted to remind you of an interesting upcoming industry event. The annual International Roadcheck inspection blitz is coming up May 14 – 16 at a weigh facility for portable inspection site near you! Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, CVSA, hosts this annual 72-hour event across Canada, the U.S., and Mexico to shed light on commercial vehicle inspections and each year have a different special emphasis of focus.

This year’s special emphasis is tractor protection systems and alcohol and controlled substances possession. The QR code below brings you to a CVSA bulletin on tractor protection systems.

QR code

We are out quite a bit lately. Hopefully, we can connect with you live at an event soon.

Chad Krueger and Pam Jones

CAB Live Training Sessions

Tuesday, April 9th | 12p EST MC Safety – Take Control of Your Data

Mike Sevret will take a deep dive into CAB’s MC Safety, a module within our motor carrier platform, MCA suite of tools. 

Tuesday, April 16th | 12p EST CAB List – Monitoring, Carrier Health, Summary Reports  

Learn how best to utilize the CAB List® to monitor your book of business. Chad Krueger will talk about triggered alerts, analyze the health of your motor carriers and so much more.

CAB Events

  • Georgia Motor Truck Association – Pam Jones & Mike Sevret are presenting “Maximizing Fleet Safety and Profitability through Data” to GMTA’s Safety Management Council 4/11 12P, Atlanta GA.
  • International Marine Underwriters Association, IMUA, – 4/22-23 Sean Gardner and Dan Smith are attending.
  • National Interstate & Vanliner Safety Summit – 4/22-23 Pam Jones & Mike Sevret are attending.
  • ATA Safety Security & Human Resources Conference – 4/25 – 27 Pam Jones, Chad Krueger, and David Elliott are attending. Chad is presenting along with Rob Moseley of Moseley Marcinak Law Group LLP.
  • MCIEF – 4/30-5/2 – Chad Krueger, Brian Stamper, and Dan Smith are attending.

To register for the webinars, sign into your CAB account. Then click live training at the top of the page to access the webinar registration.

Explore all of our previously recorded live webinar sessions in our webinar library.

Follow us on the CAB LinkedIn page and Facebook.

CAB’s Tips & Tricks

CAB includes inspection times on the CAB Report® in different ways. On the insurance platform, both time spent inspected in the last 12 months and 24 months is shared. Plus, if you hover over each of those breakdowns, you can see average inspection time for the specific time frames.

CAB report inspection times

The MC Advantage Safety module also breakdown the inspection times but a little differently. Here you can break the data by the month, hour range, or day of the week. In addition, hovering over the different timeframes, offers the counts per timeframe.

inspection button
MC Safety inspection times


Bill seeks to remove cost, redundancy from TWIC, hazmat certification. “Subjecting essential supply chain workers to the same exact background check multiple times in order to receive different credentials from the same agency does nothing to enhance security,” said American Trucking Associations (ATA) President and CEO Chris Spear. Read more…

EV charging for the U.S. freight trucking market is starting to scale. One of the first EV charging stations of scale for freight trucks is opening near the major ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, as the trucking market takes some limited, but significant steps to build the infrastructure required for a long-term transition to EV trucking and net-zero shipping. Read more…

How owner-operators still standing have weathered big rates drops through the present. ATBS Vice President Mike Hosted and Overdrive contributor and trucking business coach Gary Buchs recently presented on the recently released MATS Partners in Business Owner-Operator Business Handbook. They reviewed average owner-operator numbers from 2023 and offered additional strategies for surviving the down market. Read more…

A trucking and rail strategy that boomed during pandemic shocks is heating up again. A push of freight cargo back to the West Coast ports has increased the use of “transloading,” a truck-to-rail or rail-to-truck strategy that was popular during the Covid supply chain shocks and some supply chain experts say is here to stay. Read more…

Population shift will soon drive trucking tidal wave, expert says. A freight trough that has plagued trucking since emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic is temporary, and recovery will be spurred by the largest housing, construction and consuming market in U.S. history, said author, demographer and generational marketer Ken Gronbach in his recent keynote address at the Truckload Carriers Association convention in Nashville. Read more…

House committee passes resolution to repeal Biden DOL contractor rule. Congress debated last week a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that seeks to overturn the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final worker classification rule that upended how trucking and other industries classify independent contractors. Read more…

Congress Strengthens Truck Driver Apprenticeship Program. “We thank House and Senate appropriators for their bipartisan work to restore the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot program to its original intent,” said Mark S. Allen, President and CEO of the International Foodservice Distributors Association. Read more…

Electrifying US trucking could cost nearly $1 trillion: study. Fleets and charger operators would have to invest $620 billion on infrastructure, and utilities would have to spend $370 billion to upgrade grid networks for commercial vehicles, per the study. Read more…

Bill seeks to remove cost, redundancy from TWIC, hazmat certification. A bill making its way through the Senate Thursday with bi-partisan support would eliminate redundant fees and background checks for transportation workers. Read more…

ATRI Issues Call for Truck Drivers to Participate in Detention Survey. American Transportation Research Institute today issued a call for truck drivers to provide data on their detention experiences at customer facilities. “Drivers routinely rank detention/delay at customer facilities among their top industry concerns,” said ATRI President Rebecca Brewster. Read more…

April 2024 CAB Case Summaries
These case summaries are prepared by Robert “Rocky” C. Rogers, a Partner at Moseley Marcinak Law Group LLP.


Torres v. Minnaar, 2024 WL 778383, No. 4:23-CV-486 (E.D. Tex. Feb. 26, 2024). In this personal injury action arising from a collision between tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle that resulted in the death of the plaintiffs’ decedent, the Texas District Court remanded the case back to Texas state court, finding that the FAAAA did not provide federal subject matter jurisdiction over the action. The plaintiffs filed suit, alleging the commercial driver entered the oncoming lane of travel and struck their son’s vehicle head on, resulting in his death. One of the logistics company defendants, the purported broker, removed the action to federal court on the basis that all claims were preempted under FAAAA and under the Grable doctrine on the basis that certain federal question issues were implicated. The court rejected these claims, finding that, while the FAAAA might afford a preemption defense to the logistics company, it could not create a federal question to provide the federal court with jurisdiction, as the act’s preemptive effects related to pricing, routing, and service of a carrier, broker, or freight forwarder did not constitute “complete preemption.” Because the “complete preemption” requirement was not met, the court could not exercise jurisdiction over the matter. As for the Grable argument, the court found that only a small number of claims premised upon federal law could be maintained under this doctrine, and it found that there was no such claim here, as the FAAAA did not implicate Grable. Thus, the Court remanded the case back to state court for further proceedings.

Trujillo v. Moore Bros., Inc., 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51355 (D. Colo. 2024). In this lawsuit stemming from a motor vehicle accident, Defendants, an owner-operator/owner of the involved tractor and motor carrier/owner of the involved trailer, moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s claims for (1) negligent hiring, retention, training, monitoring, supervising, and entrustment and (2) negligent selection of an independent contractor. The Plaintiff alleged that a faulty trailer was a proximate cause of the Accident. In the magistrate’s Report and Recommendation, the Court found that Plaintiff failed to allege facts that support a reasonable inference that (1) the involved tractor-trailer driver was incompetent at the time he was hired or (2) the Defendants failed to reasonably investigate when they hired the driver. Critically, for the negligent hiring claim, the court explained that while the operative pleading alleged the driver was incompetent on the date of the Accident, the pleading failed to allege facts supporting that he was incompetent to operate a CMV when hired. Similarly, the court found the pleading failed to allege sufficient facts establishing how the Defendants allegedly failed to investigate the driver before hiring him. As such, the allegations in the Complaint with respect to the negligent hiring claim were found to be nothing more than conclusory allegations, which is insufficient to survive a motion to dismiss under the federal standard. As for the negligent retention claim, the court found such a standalone cause of action was not recognized under Colorado law, separate and distinct from the negligent supervision claim. For the negligent supervision, retention, and training claim, the court stressed the relevant standard under Colorado law requires the plaintiff to allege facts supporting that the employer knew or should have known the employee’s conduct would subject third parties to an unreasonable risk of harm. Viewing the operative pleading under this standard, the court found that the well-pleaded facts permitted the court to reasonably to infer that Defendants knew before the accident that it was the driver’s usual practice to do cursory vehicle inspections on equipment, or his pre-trip inspection of the trailer on the morning of the accident was cursory.  As such, these claims survived the motion to dismiss. For the same reasons, the negligent entrustment cause of action survived Defendants’ motion to dismiss. Last, the Court held that in Colorado, claims for the negligent selection of contractors are treated as analogous to the negligent hiring claim; as such, the Magistrate recommended dismissal of the negligent selection of an independent contractor cause of action for the same reasons as the negligent hiring claim. 

Gold v. Carter, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43968 (W.D. Pa. 2024). This lawsuit stems from a motor vehicle accident between a tractor trailer and four vehicles stopped in traffic from another accident. Immediately prior to the accident at hand, a nearby CMV driver warned the defendant driver, who was operating the involved tractor trailer, via CB radio to reduce his speed for an upcoming accident. Plaintiffs asserted the Defendant driver violated FMCSA regulations as he was traveling at an excessive rate of speed, despite the radio warning, and much faster than was prudent for the heavy rainfall. Plaintiffs also allege that Defendant Motor Carrier knew or had reason to know of the driver’s incompetency or inexperience. Defendants moved to dismiss the claims for punitive damages and strike certain allegations that reference “recklessness,” “intentional conduct,” “wanton conduct” and “other averments which would form the basis for punitive damages.” The District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania explained that a “punitive damages claim must be supported by evidence sufficient to establish that (1) a defendant had a subject appreciation of the risk of harm to which the plaintiff was exposed and that (2) he acted, or failed to act, as the case may be, in conscious disregard of that risk.” Further, a principal may be held vicariously liable for punitive damages if the actions of its agent were “clearly outrageous, were committed during and within the scope of the agent’s duties and were done with the intent to further the principal’s interests.” Under this standard, the Court found that Plaintiffs’ allegations plausibly support a remedy of punitive damages based on the following: (1) the Driver operating the truck at a high rate of speed given the location and circumstances; (2) the Driver violated FMCSA regulations; and (3) the Driver was warned by a fellow driver to reduce speed. Further, Defendants failed to show how they suffered harm from the references to averments supporting punitive damages claims. As such the Court denied both the Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Strike.

Carter v. C&S Canopy, Inc., 2024 Miss. App. LEXIS 95 (2024). In this appeal of a trial court’s order granting summary judgment to the motor carrier and its driver, the Mississippi Court of Appeals upheld the summary judgment. At or around 3:30 p.m., the driver began to experience engine trouble with the CMV “running sluggish” before losing power. The driver pulled the inoperable CMV onto the shoulder of the interstate and placed out three warning triangles at intervals leading up to the disabled truck. The driver took a photograph of the triangles leading up to the vehicle and sent that to the motor carrier before departing for a nearby hotel. The following morning, around 1:30 a.m., another tractor-trailer approached the disabled vehicle and for reasons unknown, veered off the roadway and sideswiped the parked CMV. The plaintiff was asleep in the sleeper berth at the time of the collision and allegedly sustained injuries. Thereafter, the plaintiff filed suit against the motor carrier and driver. When the motor carrier and driver moved for summary judgment, the plaintiff opposed the motion by submitting an affidavit from Adam Grill, of the Legacy Corporation. The affidavit made various allegations of negligence by the driver, including: (1) the driver violated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, state statute and industry standards when he parked and left unattended the truck on the paved portion of the highway; (2) the driver should have moved the truck to the nearest place where repairs could safely be effected; and (3) the driver incorrectly placed the warning devices behind the truck. As for the claims against the motor carrier, the affidavit alleged: (1) it violated state and federal law and industry standards by allowing the driver to park and leave unattended the truck on the paved portion of the highway; and (2) that the motor carrier failed to properly train or instruct the driver regarding the placement of the reflective triangles. The trial court granted summary judgment to the Defendants, finding there was no genuine issue of material fact, no evidence that the Defendants breached any duty, and no evidence that any alleged breach proximately caused the crash. The circuit court specifically found that dashcam video from the second tractor-trailer showed the triangle warning devices were in place and there was nothing in the record, including the affidavit, establishing how the placement of the triangles failed to comply with any applicable requirements. Further, the trial noted the analytical gap between any purported violation with respect to the placement of the triangles and establishing proximate cause of the Accident. Last, the trial court struck Grill’s affidavit in full, finding he did not address causation, his “opinions were not scientifically reliable,” and his opinions were not “helpful” to the extent he merely interpreted the video of the crash, but also noted that even without striking the affidavit there was no genuine issue of material fact. On appeal, plaintiffs raised additional grounds why the trial court allegedly should not have granted summary judgment, including that the driver negligently continued to drive a “sluggish” truck down the interstate rather than exiting; that the motor carrier negligently failed to have the truck towed sooner; that the driver violated Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations by placing emergency reflective triangles at incorrect distances behind his truck; that the driver broke the law by parking the disabled truck on the shoulder of the interstate; that the motor carrier lacked authority to operate as a “for-hire motor carrier”; that the motor carrier failed to train the driver; and that these various acts or omissions caused the Accident. The appellate court addressed each in turn, ultimately finding none of the additional arguments were sufficient to avoid summary judgment. The court found the record provided no evidence of how long the truck was “sluggish” before it became operable or that the driver failed to take advantage of an earlier opportunity to exit the interstate. Similarly, the court found that the record contained no evidence that the truck could have been towed sooner or that the motor carrier was somehow negligent in its attempts to get the truck towed sooner. As for the claims about improper placement of triangles, the court noted there was no evidence in the record to support the alleged distance between the warning triangle(s) and the vehicle or the distance alleged by plaintiffs. Further, the court noted that the plaintiffs’ alleged required distance misstated the applicable regulation because the involved roadway was a “divided highway” for which there were different standards. Further, even assuming arguendo any alleged negligent placement of the triangles, the court found any such failure was not the proximate cause of the Accident insofar as the driver of the second tractor-trailer, in which the plaintiff was an occupant, left his lane of travel to cause the Accident. The court applied a “reasonable and workable” interpretation of the state statute prohibiting operators from leaving vehicles on the paved part of a roadway, finding that a strict application would be unworkable and further that the evidence of the record established that the driver moved the disabled CMV as far off the roadway as was practicable under the circumstances. It further noted an exception in the statute for a disabled vehicle.  As for the argument that the driver and motor carrier violated the law by not being a registered “for hire motor carrier” the court noted the driver held a valid CMV license and the motor carrier was licensed with FMCSA as a private carrier. Since the record evidence established that the driver was in the process of installing awnings for the motor carrier company at the time of the Accident, there was no support that a for-hire license/regulation was required. Further, the court noted the lack of a causal link between any alleged failure to have “for hire” licensure and the Accident. For the same reasons, the court found there was no support of negligent training of the driver. As such, the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to the motor carrier and driver on all counts.    

Oakley v. A.L. Logistics, LLC, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45112 (M.D. Ala. 2024). In this lawsuit involving an accident where the decedent drifted into a broken-down tractor trailer parked inches over the fog-line on the shoulder, the decedent’s estate sued under the Alabama Wrongful Death Act asserting negligence and wantonness. Defendant moved for summary judgment, and the District Court for the Middle District of Alabama denied summary judgment on the negligence and wantonness claims, finding that genuine issues of material fact existed concerning foreseeability and proximate cause of the crash. The evidence of the record established that the driver of the tractor-trailer was operating on I-65 when he experienced mechanical issues, with the CMV ultimately breaking down. He parked the disabled CMV on the shoulder, but within inches of the “fog line” and on the rumble strip. The driver and the motor carrier decided to have the CMV repaired on the side of the roadway, rather than having it towed to another location for repairs. Approximately twelve hours later, around 2:15 a.m., plaintiff’s decedent began to veer off the roadway for unknown reasons before ultimately crossing the fog line and striking the rear of the disabled tractor trailer. Evidence of the record established there were no emergency or warning triangles placed behind the rig nor were the disabled tractor-trailers lights illuminated at the time of the Accident. Law enforcement that investigated the Accident determined that the CMV was legally parked but should have been towed to the nearest exit. Plaintiff brought suit against the driver and employer motor carrier alleging negligence and wantonness against both defendants. The defendants moved for summary judgment on all claims, contending that negligence by the plaintiff’s decedent was the proximate and intervening cause of the Accident. The court found that the motor carrier was entitled to summary judgment for the negligence/wantonness claims related to inspection, hiring, training, supervision, and retention, noting the lack of evidence in the record to support such claims. As for the remaining negligence and wantonness claims centered upon the decision to leave the disabled CMV on the roadway overnight, within inches of the lane of travel, and not having it towed, the court found the evidence created a genuine issue of material fact. Noting that proximate and intervening cause is most often an issue of fact, the court found the same held under the facts of the Accident. It noted there was sufficient evidence, if believed by a jury, to establish the driver and motor carrier knew or should have known of the foreseeable risk of injury to the motoring public in leaving the disabled CMV inches from the roadway without any illuminating lights or hazard triangles. The court found it was up to a jury to determine whether the plaintiff’s decedent’s actions were a sufficient intervening cause to overcome potential negligence by the CMV driver and motor carrier. Interestingly, the court’s decision does not address the FMCSR regulations regarding hazard triangles, but it did find the fact that the CMV was legally parked to be insufficient, standing alone, to entitle the driver and motor carrier to summary judgment in light of the other facts of the record. With respect to the heightened standard for wantonness under Alabama law, the court found there was sufficient evidence from which a jury could find that the driver made a “conscious and deliberate decision” to park the CMV where he did, without illuminating lights or hazards, and that the motor carrier’s decision against having the CMV towed, exposed other drivers to an unnecessary and hazardous risk. As such, the court denied summary judgment to defendants on the negligence and wantonness claims directly related to these actions. 


Milne v. Move Freight Trucking, 2024 WL 762373, No. 7:23-cv-432 (W.D. Va. Feb. 20, 2024) and Crawford v Move Freight Trucking, LLC, 2024 WL 762377, No 7:23-cv-433 (W.D. Va. Feb. 20, 2024). In these consolidated cases arising from the same accident on I-81 in Virginia, the District Court granted motions to dismiss claims for negligent entrustment, hiring, and retention; denied motions to dismiss by a shipper and broker on the ground of FAAAA preemption, among other defenses, and ordered jurisdictional discovery to determine whether it had jurisdiction over the shipper and broker. The accident occurred after the driver of a passenger vehicle allegedly fell asleep and struck a tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder of the interstate. The estate of the deceased passenger and the special conservator of another passenger in the passenger vehicle filed suit against the driver of the passenger vehicle, the driver of the tractor-trailer, the carrier, the purported broker, and the purported shipper, alleging the foregoing causes of action. The Defendants moved to dismiss on a number of grounds. The court granted the motor carrier’s motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ negligent entrustment, hiring, and retention claims, finding that there were no allegations in the complaints to support any assertion that the carrier should have known its driver posed an unreasonable risk of harm to others. As for the negligent training and supervision claims, the court noted that Virginia did not recognize such claims. The shipper and broker also moved to dismiss all claims alleged against them, arguing that they were not subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction, that the complaints failed to state claims for negligence in the hiring of the carrier or its driver, and that all claims were preempted under FAAAA. As for the personal jurisdiction argument, the court noted that the plaintiffs alleged that the shipper and broker employed the driver and controlled his activities, and it allowed the parties to pursue discovery on the issue before reaching a determination. As for the argument that they were only the shipper and broker and that they could not be liable for any negligent hiring, retention, or respondeat superior claims, the court found that the plaintiffs had plausibly alleged such factual allegations and alleged the claims to survive for the time being. As for the FAAAA preemption arguments, the court outlined the split in authority from the Ninth Circuit’s holding in Miller v C.H. Robinson and the Seventh Circuit’s holding in Ye v. GlobalTranz Enterprises but found that the Fourth Circuit had not opined on the issue. However, the court noted that district courts in the Fourth Circuit had rejected FAAAA preemption, pointing to Mann v. C.H. Robinson, which found that preemption did not apply. Moreover, the court determined that, even if preemption applied, so too did the safety exception to the statute, reasoning “[s]tate law recognizes these tort claims in part to incentivize safe practices in the trucking industry. To preempt such claims would undercut an important tool in the states’ efforts to maintain reasonably safe roadways, a practice expressly shielded by the safety exclusion.”  Finally, the court also declined to dismiss the plaintiffs’ punitive damages claims against the shipper and broker at this early stage in the litigation.

Meek v. Toor, 2024 WL 943931, No. 2:21-cv-0324 (E.D. Tex. Mar. 5, 2024). In this broker liability action, the federal magistrate judge denied a broker’s motion for summary judgment, rejecting its argument that the claims were preempted under the FAAAA. The case arose from a motor vehicle accident after a carrier’s driver was involved in a collision with the plaintiff. The plaintiff also sued the broker, arguing it was liable under a theory of negligent hiring of the carrier. The broker argued the plaintiff’s claim was preempted under the FAAAA. However, the court was not convinced, citing to a number of cases which held preemption did not apply to negligent hiring claims, which “bear only a tenuous relationship to ‘services’ provided by brokers…” In the court’s view, it was not convinced that “hiring and oversight of transportation companies is so central to the services of freight brokers that negligent hiring claims would significantly impact the services of a freight broker.”  Moreover, the court found that, even if the claim did fall under the purview of the FAAAA’s preemptive effect, the safety exception would apply, finding “negligent hiring is a tort doctrine concerning the safety of the public, and that the safety regulatory exception is to be read broadly[.]”  Notably, the court’s decision contained no discussion of Miller or Ye. The court also rejected the broker’s motion for summary judgment as to the plaintiff’s negligence-based claims, finding that the evidence could support liability against the broker.


K&M Handling, LLC v. Seaboard Marina, Ltd., Inc., 2024 WL 985072, No. 23-cv-23180 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 7, 2024). In this cargo claim brought by a forwarding agent against an ocean carrier, the court denied the ocean carrier’s motion for a judgment on the pleadings and instead allowed the forwarding agent’s COGSA and breach of contract claims to proceed. The claims arose after a non-party, Orange Flowers, had contracted with the carrier to deliver two shipments of flowers from Colombia to Miami. The flowers were to be stored in refrigerated containers and kept at a certain temperature during the shipment. The forwarding agent alleged that the carrier failed to keep the flowers in the refrigerated containers, thus rendering them unusable, and it brought claims for breach of contract and under COGSA. The forwarding agent alleged that Orange Flowers had transferred its right to collect for the loss of the flowers and cited to a transfer of rights which referenced applicable bills of lading for the shipments. The ocean carrier sought dismissal of the claims, arguing the forwarding agent lacked standing to assert the claims as it was not the real party in interest. The carrier pointed to the forwarding agent not being included on the bills of lading to support its argument, but the forwarding agent pointed to the transfer of rights as allowing it to be the real party in interest. The court agreed with the forwarding agent, finding that the ocean carrier had failed to cite to any authority invalidating the assignment of the claim. The court noted that COGSA applied to the scenario but that it was silent as to whether the causes of action were assignable. However, because there was no authority prohibiting the assignment, the Court allowed the claims to proceed, also finding that the forwarding agent had standing to bring the suit.

KG Dongbu USA, Inc. v. Panobulk Logistics, Inc., 2024 WL 1141217, No. 23-27 C/W 23-6912 (E.D. La. Mar. 15, 2024). In this cargo claim involving alleged damage to steel coils, the court granted, in part, and denied, in part, numerous motions related to the enforceability of a limitation of liability provision in a shipping agreement. KG Dongbu shipped 140 steel coils from Korea to New Orleans, with SK Shipping hired as the ocean carrier to transport the coils. KG Dongbu also hired Panobulk as an intermediary forwarder to transport the coils from New Orleans to Illinois and Ohio and Cooper Consolidated via a Barge Transportation Agreement (“BTA”) to transport the coils by barge from New Orleans to Illinois. The specific barge was provided by Marquette Transportation to Cooper under a separate agreement. Panobulk and SK Shipping hired Coastal Cargo to offload the coils from the ocean vessel onto the barge. KG Dongbu then brought suit, alleging that Coastal pierced the hold of the barge while loading the coils, allowing river water to enter the hold and damage the coils, which were rejected by the buyer. KG Dongbu and its subrogated insurer then brought claims for breach of maritime contract, warranty, and bailment against Panobulk. Cooper, Panobulk, Coastal, and Marquette filed a number of counter and crossclaims, including among them arguments for contractual indemnity and raising a number defenses, including asserting that the package limitation clause of the BTA applied. The Cooper BTA provision provided that cargo loss was to be limited to $500 per unit or package and that the carrier would have “no liability for loss or damage to cargo , or for direct or indirect expenses or claims arising from or related to such loss or damage, until proper loading is complete, and the barge has been removed from loading facility by Carrier or its designated carrier.  The BTA continued, providing that thereafter, Carrier shall only be liable to Shipper for loss or damage to the cargo which occurs during the voyage and in no event shall Carrier be liable for loss or damage to the cargo caused, in whole or in part, by: shrinkage, expansion, deterioration, or other changes in condition due to temperature changes, atmospheric humidity, or other natural causes; or navigational delays; or any vice or defect in the cargo.  The BTA set forth that in the event of such loss or damage for which Carrier is liable, Carrier shall pay for lost cargo based on actual value at time of loss, and damaged cargo based on actual loss in value measured at time such damage occurred, up to a maximum limit of $500.00 per ton on bulk cargo or $500 per unit or package subjected to count….” Panobulk and KG Dongbu argued against BTA on the ground that they were not timely notified of the damage, that it was only between Cooper and Panobulk, that it was ambiguous, and that it applied only in instances of common carriage, among other arguments. Cooper argued the provisions were unambiguous, that they were enforceable, that Panobulk was not entitled to declare a higher value in a private contract pursuant to COGSA, and that Plaintiffs’ and Panobulk’s claims for unseaworthiness and negligence were not relevant to whether the limitation applied. Marquette joined in the argument for the limitation, arguing that the provision was a Himalaya Clause which extended to downstream parties. The court found that the limitation was appliable to Panobulk, as the contract was one for private carriage as opposed to common carriage. Moreover, because the BTA covered the inland shipping of the coils, COGSA did not apply but did not limit the applicability of the provision. As for Panobulk’s argument that it was not given an opportunity to negotiate the value of the limitation, the court disagreed, finding that the parties had included the provision in previous agreements. The court also disagreed that the provision was ambiguous and that Cooper’s alleged negligence prevented the enforceability of the agreement. Thus, the limitation was enforceable as to Panobulk. However, the court disagreed that it was enforceable as to the Plaintiffs, finding that such an extension to downstream parties was limited in the context of common carriage, not private carriage. The court also found that Marquette was not entitled to enforce the limitation for the same reason. Moreover, Marquette was not entitled to enforce it as against Panobulk, as it was not included as a party to the provision. The court reserved any further rulings, as determinations as to liability for the damage to the cargo had not yet been made.

Certain Underwriters v. Guyana Nat’l Indus. Co., Inc., 2024 WL 1174082, No. 23-cv-20172 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 18, 2024). In this claim involving cargo that was destroyed in a fire, the Court granted the defendant carriers’ motion to dismiss. The carriers had delivered the goods from Florida to a warehousing facility in Guyana in good condition. While at the warehousing facility, the goods were destroyed in a fire. The consignee, as subrogee of its insurer, brought claims against the warehousing facility, the carriers, and other related entities for negligence, breach of contract and statutory duty under the Pomerene Act, Breach of Bailment, and under COGSA. The defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that the Plaintiff had failed to state a claim under COGSA or the Pomerene Act, that it failed to state claims for common law negligence or breach of bailment, and on the ground that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over several of the defendants. Plaintiff argued that it had alleged a claim under COGSA because the goods were not delivered in good condition. The defendants argued COGSA did not apply because the loss did not happen until after the cargo was discharged from the vessel. The court agreed, finding that the agreement between the parties did not extend to the time that the shipment was stored at the warehousing facility and that, even if the bills of lading had done so, the plaintiff had failed to allege how the carrier defendants would be liable. As for the claim under the Pomerene Act, the court found that the plaintiff had cited it improperly in the complaint and that it should be dismissed and that, even if it had properly alleged the claim, it had failed to allege that the cargo was delivered to the wrong person, and, thus, the claim would fail. The court then declined to exercise jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims.

Zierke v. Am. Van Lines, Inc., 2024 WL 982587, No. 23-cv-00475 (D. Colo. Feb. 16, 2024). In this claim alleging certain failures in the delivery of the plaintiff’s goods, the federal magistrate judge recommended granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss on the basis of Carmack preemption. Plaintiff hired AVL to transport her belongings from California to Colorado. AVL then sent an affiliated company, Next Stop, to transport the goods. Plaintiff alleged Next Stop doubled the price and failed to timely deliver the goods. Plaintiff then filed suit against both entities, alleging a violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”), conspiracy to violate the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (“COCCA”), fraudulent misrepresentation in inducement to contract, breach of contract, Unjust Enrichment, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that all the claims were preempted under the Carmack Amendment. Plaintiff alleged that it was not entirely clear whether AVL was operating as a carrier or a broker, but the court rejected this argument, finding that the Plaintiff had plainly asserted that AVL was acting as a carrier. Finally, the court cited a number of cases which held that each of the foregoing claims were preempted under the Carmack Amendment. Therefore, the court dismissed all claims.

Cell Deal Inc. v. FedEx Freight, Inc., 2024 WL 884846, No. 21-CV-788 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 28, 2024). In this claim arising under the Carmack Amendment, the federal magistrate judge recommended that the motor carrier’s motion for summary judgment be denied.  Company A hired a broker to arrange for the carrier to pick up a load of cell phones for delivery to Company A’s facility. The broker then hired the carrier, which picked up one pallet of phones, which were signed for and delivered in apparent good condition. However, a claim was later filed against the carrier, alleging the loss of four boxes of phones. The disputed shipment was the subject of an agreement that referenced the carrier’s tariff, which limited the carrier’s liability to 50 cents per pound per package or $10,000 per incident, whichever is lower. Following the incident, Company A sued the carrier under a theory of negligence. The carrier removed the action to federal court and argued for preemption under the Carmack Amendment. The carrier then moved for summary judgment, arguing that its maximum exposure was $153 pursuant to the terms of the bill of lading. Company A cross-moved for summary judgment, arguing for over $100,000 in damages under the Carmack Amendment. The carrier alleged that Company A failed to allege a prima facie showing under the Carmack because the amount of damages was contested and because it offered only inadmissible evidence as to the shipment’s condition before and after delivery. In viewing the evidentiary record, the court determined that the proper value of the claim could be as low as $12,796.50, the original amount of the declared loss by the shipper, or $115,866, the alleged cost of the lost cellphones. Thus, the court denied Company A’s motion for summary judgment. As for the carrier’s motion arguing for the limitation of liability, the court analyzed the claim under Carmack and looked to the agreement between the carrier and the broker, which incorporated the carrier’s tariff, and the bill of lading. In looking at the agreement, the court found that it might not have provided sufficient notice to the broker of the limitation of liability provision contained in the tariff, and that the carrier could not attempt to enforce the limitation of liability provision on this basis. The carrier also argued that the tariff’s limitation would have been communicated to Company A through the bill of lading. While the court acknowledged this was a “closer call,” but found that there was nothing to support that the limitation of liability provision was communicated directly to Company A, only to the broker. Thus, because the carrier did not establish that the agreement to limit its liability was “the result of a fair, open, just, and reasonable agreement” with Company A, the court declined to grant summary judgment to the carrier.

Collicutt Energy Servs. Inc. v. Trinity Logistics, Inc., 2024 WL 920556, No. 2:22-CV-00364 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 29, 2024). In this claim arising from alleged damage to industrial equipment, the court granted, in part, and denied, in part, a logistics company’s motion for summary judgment. The shipper contracted with a logistics company to transport two generators and related equipment from Wisconsin to California. The logistics company then contracted with two carriers to transport the generators. However, during transit, the drivers for the two carriers drove under overpasses that were too low, causing severe damage to the generators. The shipper purchased replacement generators and sought reimbursement from the logistics company, which disclaimed liability and directed the shipper to the carriers. The shipper sued all of the entities under Carmack and, alternatively, for breach of contract and negligence against the logistics company. The logistics company moved for summary judgment, arguing that it was a freight broker and that Carmack did not apply, that there was no evidence it was negligent, and that it did not breach its contract with the shipper. The shipper argued the logistics company held itself out as a carrier during their communications, and the court agreed that the communications created a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the company held itself out as a carrier. However, the court agreed with the logistics company as to the shipper’s negligence claim, finding that the shipper had failed to establish a legal duty in tort to insure the subject loads and confirm their safe delivery. As for the breach of contract claim, the court found that the previously referenced communications between the shipper and logistics company created a genuine issue of material fact with respect to the logistics company’s obligations under the contract. Thus, it denied the company’s motion for summary judgment as to the breach of contract claim.

Baldwin v. Am. Van Lines, Inc., 2024 WL 921396, No. 3:23cv474 (E.D. Va. Mar. 4, 2024). In this action involving claims for damage to household goods, the court dismissed certain claims against a carrier and remanded others to state court for further proceedings. The plaintiffs hired the HHG carrier to move their belongings from Virginia to Georgia. A representative of the company indicated that its workers would disconnect all appliances during the move. The plaintiffs were set to purchase their new residence in Georgia, contingent upon the sale of their residence in Virginia. When the HHG carrier’s workers arrived to begin loading the plaintiffs’ goods, an employee “broke the washing machine water supply pipes,” flooding the house for over an hour and causing the ceiling over the garage to collapse. After the flooding, the plaintiffs requested the moving company transport the goods to a restoration company, but the company’s employee refused the request, insisting that he had to drive the van to North Carolina for the evening and deliver property for a different move, despite the agreement that the plaintiffs’ move was to be the exclusive move. The moving company also allegedly refused to allow the plaintiffs to review and sign the bill of lading. The plaintiffs later recovered a portion of their property damage from their insurer and later sued the moving company, alleging claims for conversion, a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, breach of contract, fraud, and for punitive damages, seeking a minimum of $41,000. The moving company filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that all claims were preempted under Carmack. The court rejected this argument, finding that the conversion claim was not preempted, as its assertion of $1,500 in damages would not fall under Carmack’s $10,000 threshold. As for the other claims, the court found that each of them were preempted under Carmack, as they all related to the services the company provided as a carrier. The court also found that the plaintiffs had failed to allege support for a punitive damages claim. Thus, the court mostly granted the motion to dismiss and remanded the $1,500 conversion claim to state court.

Total Quality Logistics, LLC v. All Pro Logistics, LLC, 2024 WL 911933, Nos. CA2022-11-078 and CA2022-12-082 (Ohio Ct. App. Mar. 4, 2024). In this action filed by a broker against a motor carrier, the Ohio Court of Appeals affirmed, in part, and reversed, in part, a trial court’s grant of summary judgment and motion to dismiss. The broker filed suit after it arranged for the carrier to transport a load of blueberries from New Jersey to Michigan. The carrier picked up the blueberries, signed the bill of lading, and delivered them to a grocery facility in Michigan. However, the blueberries were rejected because they were frozen and in damaged condition. The broker then reimbursed its client and directed the carrier to transport the blueberries to a third party for potential salvage. The broker later filed suit against the carrier, alleging breach of contract claims. It also received an assignment from its customer and asserted additional claims, including under the Carmack Amendment. The broker obtained a default judgment against the carrier, but the carrier was later allowed out of default. The broker later obtained summary judgment on its Carmack claim and on the carrier’s counterclaim for recoupment of the funds seized by the previous garnishment. The trial court denied summary judgment as to the broker’s other claims, and the broker appealed. In reviewing the appeal, the appellate court noted that it was unclear why the trial court determined the broker’s claims were so limited, but it found that a broker carrier agreement superseded the common law right to indemnification from a carrier for monies that it paid a customer for cargo loss. Given that the broker carrier agreement here contained multiple provisions as to indemnification and financial responsibility for cargo loss, the court reversed the denial of summary judgment on those claims. In considering the carrier’s cross-appeal of the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the broker as to the Carmack claim, the court found that the lower court correctly found that the broker had asserted a prima facie case under Carmack following the assignment by its customer.


Ocean Reef Charters, LLC v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am., 2024 WL 776026, No. 23-CV-81222 (S.D. Fla. Feb. 26, 2024). In this bad faith action, a Florida federal magistrate judge recommended that punitive damages claim against an insurer over its alleged failure to properly investigate a damaged yacht claim should be dismissed. The court ruled that the allegations did not support the higher standard needed to show malicious behavior or reckless disregard by the insurance company. In so ruling, the court found that the insured’s claim excluded the equally plausible conclusion that the insurer had acted negligently rather than with the higher mens rea needed for punitive damages. The Eleventh Circuit had previously upheld a more than $2 million award to the insured stemming from an insurance claim after Hurricane Irma damaged the yacht and caused it to sink. In ruling that punitive damages must be proven by clear and convincing evidence, the court said that allegations of “similar bad faith conduct” is a legal conclusion, not a fact, and that the allegation that an insurer failed to properly investigate a claim, standing alone, does not necessarily imply willful, wanton, or malicious behavior, or reckless disregard for the rights of its insureds. Moreover, the court found that two other instances of conduct are not sufficient to plausibly allege a general business practice.

Markuson v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 2024 WL 817545, No. 2D21-2443 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Feb. 28, 2024). A Florida appeals court clarified a prior ruling reviving bad faith claims against an insurer for rejecting an offer to settle a car crash injury suit that led to a $3 million verdict. The dispute stemmed from a 2006 car crash involving the plaintiff and a permissive driver of the insured, who was driving a vehicle owned by his father. The plaintiff sued the father and son (“Tort Defendants”) for damages for his injuries caused by the crash. The Tort Defendants’ insurance policy with State Farm had a $300,000 limit against liability for bodily injuries sustained in a crash, and the insurer made a settlement offer that was rejected by the plaintiff, who later made two settlement counteroffers that would have required the insurer to tender the $300,000 policy limits, authorize a consent judgment of $1.9 million, and authorize the Tort Defendants to assign their rights in any claims against their insurance agent. The insurer rejected those proposals, and, at trial, a jury returned a verdict of more than $3 million for the plaintiff. The plaintiff and the Tort Defendants sued the insurer, claiming the insurer acted in bad faith when it failed to settle the personal injury action. The insurer asked for summary judgment, arguing that it did not act in bad faith because the proposals for settlement included consent judgments above the policy limits and it owed no duty to the insured(s) to enter into such a settlement. The court found that the insurer could still have acted in bad faith in handling the settlement offer even if it had no obligation to accept it. The appellate court ruled that while the trial court correctly determined that the insurer did not have a duty to enter a consent judgment in excess of the policy limits, and therefore could not have committed bad faith in rejecting the settlement counteroffers, the trial court nevertheless should not have granted the insurer summary judgment on the bad faith claims because the suit alleged other theories of bad faith as well.  As such, the appeals court reversed the trial court’s summary judgment and remanded the case for consideration of the remaining possible theories of bad faith. In expounding on the decision, the appeals court said its decision is limited to the theory of bad faith under a 2015 Eleventh Circuit decision that held an insurer has no duty under Florida law to enter a consent judgment that exceeds the limits of its policy. However, the insurer could still face other types of bad faith claims, including theories governed by a 1980 Florida Supreme Court ruling, which says an insurer “has a duty to use the same degree of care and diligence as a person of ordinary care and prudence should exercise in the management of his own business.”


No cases of note to report this month.

CAB Bits & Pieces March 2024

Hello Everyone and Happy Spring!

The sunshine (at least that we are getting here in the Midwest) sure makes everyone much happier! Hopefully you too are experiencing some refreshing spring weather. The S&P is on the upswing.

Convention season is starting up again. Chad and Pam are speaking at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS). Stop in to hear our educational session and visit our team at our booth. More details are below.

Thank you,

Chad Krueger and Pam Jones

CAB Live Training Sessions

Tuesday, March 12th | 12p EST – Grow Your Business with SALEs – Targeted Leads Generator, Connor Harper 

Target companies within your specific appetite with over 100+ filters. Search by insurance renewals, fleet size, commodities, and many other options. 

Tuesday, March 19th | 12p EST – CAB for Agents & Brokers, Sean Gardner

Learn about enhancements to the CAB ecosystem that can help drive growth and save time. Identify ways to use CAB data to change the conversation with markets and advocate for motor carrier customers and prospects. Use CAB List™ to monitor customers 

CAB Events

MATS – Mid-America Trucking Show Booth #13008 

Join Chad & Pam on Thursday, March 21st at 1:15p for “Don’t Gamble with Fleet Safety: Secure Your Bottom Line with Data-Driven Excellence.” The presentation will be held in B104 – ProTalks Theater following the “FMCSA Registration Update and Fraud Prevention” presentation. 

To register for the webinars, sign into your CAB account. Then click live training at the top of the page to access the webinar registration.

Explore all of our previously recorded live webinar sessions in our webinar library.

Follow us on the CAB LinkedIn page and Facebook.

CAB’s Tips & Tricks

Not the first time nor the last the criminals are hitting fleets! This is the first we’ve seen the phishing attempt be focused on audits though. A recent FMCSA alert pushed notice out to motor carriers about this nefarious activity. Motor carrier representations while always vigilant, need to confirm who they communicate with and that sites really are legitimate. Insurance partners, please share this with you clients if you haven’t yet. Here’s the link to the Overdrive article on the topic as well.

CAB users can set alerts to be notified when activity on an authority changes. Follow the 6-steps in the below image to get your notifications specifically for MCS-150 changes updated.

screenshot of steps to get notifications for MCS-150 changes

Additional Resources

Please see Barclay Damon’s Transportation Annual Year in Review.  The review share developments in transportation law. This year’s publication looks at cases decided in 2023 by courts around the country and other critical occurrences.

Moseley Marcinack Law Group LLP is hosting a webinar on March 8th at 12p EST. They will be presenting on issues and hot topics surrounding the world of independent contractors in the transportation industry.

Register for Webinar


Trucking executives point to potential for 2024 market recovery. Trucking executives noted signs of potential freight market improvement this year… [citing] a relatively strong labor market, sustained consumer spending, cooling inflation and potential interest rate cuts are putting the U.S. on track for recovery. Read more… 

FTR’s February trucking outlook shows slow, steady growth. Active truck utilization bottomed out over the summer, Avery Vise, vice president of trucking says, and remains in line with 2019, pre-pandemic levels. “One answer is that if you can survive today,” with bottomed out rates and declining diesel prices, Vise says, “There’s no particular reason for you to go out of business.” Read more…. 

E-commerce driving job growth in transportation and warehousing. The surge in e-commerce from 0.6% of retail sales in 1996 to 15.6% today, and increased consumer demand for rapid and reliable shipping, have been a driving force for job growth in the warehouse and transportation sector.  Read more… 

The United States Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) new reporting requirement hits owner-operators, small fleets.  Since the first of this year, any newly established LLC, corporation, LLP and some other business types, including any owner-operator or small fleet who’s filed with their Secretary of State to establish the business, have 90 days to report Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) to FinCen and the Treasury. Read more… 

Trucking authority correction accelerates. Since the start of November, net active truckload operating authorities have dropped by 9,000 — an approximately 12% increase over the same period last year, according to Carrier Details’ analysis of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data. Read more.. 

Illinois Bill to Copy California Emission Regs Draws Heat. A wave of opposition is mounting in the Illinois General Assembly to a bill that would have the state follow California’s lead in adoption of strict emissions laws that would eventually prohibit sales of diesel-powered trucks in favor of zero-emission options such as electric vehicles. Read more… 

FMCSA Planning New Study on Detention Time. Federal trucking regulators are planning an in-depth research study that will collect and provide 12 months of data toward an end of helping provide strategies to mitigate driver detention time, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Read more… 

March 2024 CAB Case Summaries
These case summaries are prepared by Robert “Rocky” C. Rogers, a Partner at Moseley Marcinack Law Group LLP.


Taylor v. Dupree, 2024 WL 388113, No. 1:23-cv-00298 (M.D. Pa. Feb. 1, 2024). In this action arising from a motor vehicle accident between two tractor-trailers, the court denied a commercial driver’s and a carrier’s motion to dismiss and motion to strike punitive damages claims. Both commercial drivers were traveling in snowy conditions at the time of the accident when the defendant driver lost control of his vehicle and became perpendicular to the highway. To avoid hitting a passenger vehicle, the plaintiff collided with the defendant driver and sustained injuries. After the plaintiff filed suit, the defendant driver and carrier moved to dismiss the punitive damages claim, arguing the allegations failed to rise to the requisite mental state warranting punitive damages. The plaintiff opposed the motion, arguing that he only had to generally aver as to the defendant’s state of mind at the pleadings stage. The court noted that it was rare to dismiss punitive damages at the pleadings stage, and because additional discovery was needed to ascertain the defendant driver’s mental state, it denied the motions.

Pagan v. Dent, 2024 WL 345485, No. 21-cv-01621 (M.D. Pa. Jan. 30, 2024). In this action arising from a motor vehicle accident, the court declined to grant a motor carrier’s motion for summary judgment on punitive damages. The carrier’s driver was operating a commercial vehicle in snowy conditions when he lost control of the vehicle, jackknifed, and landed on top of the plaintiffs’ vehicle. The driver testified that he had some training on space management, visual surroundings, ice and snow, and speed reduction in snowy conditions, but that he did not have training in extreme driving conditions. The carrier moved for summary judgment, arguing that the driver’s conduct did not warrant punitive damages because there was no subjective appreciation which was ignored. The plaintiffs opposed the motion, arguing the driver was aware of the weather and chose to drive in it despite being trained to pull over. The plaintiffs also argued the driver was traveling above the tier 1 reduced speed limit of 45 mph, and the defendants conceded this point. However, they argued the driver was not aware of the warning. The defendants also argued the driver was not fatigued nor distracted and that he had tried to stop at an earlier truck stop, which was fully occupied. The carrier also argued that it had told its driver to get to a safe place in the event of bad weather. The plaintiffs proffered expert witness testimony to argue that the driver failed to reduce his speed, which violated the CDL manual and that his failure to park violated Part 392.14 of the FMCSRs, among other arguments. The plaintiffs also argued the carrier failed to provide a road test to the driver or adequate training on driving in adverse weather conditions. The court ultimately decided that questions of fact remained, and it denied summary judgment, finding that a jury could conclude the driver operated the vehicle in a reckless manner and that the carrier failed to properly train or supervise the driver.

William Fulp Wrecker Serv., Inc. v. Miller Transfer & Rigging, Co., 2024 WL 406575, No. 1:23cv368 (M.D.N.C. Feb. 2, 2024). In this action involving a towing and cleanup dispute, the magistrate judge recommended the motor carrier’s motion for judgment on the pleadings be denied. The motor carrier was involved in an accident, and the towing company plaintiff alleged it was called to the scene by law enforcement to “contain, clean-up, and remediate the impacted areas.” The towing company alleged that it arrived on the day of the accident to minimize contamination and that it returned three days later to complete the clean-up. It invoiced the carrier $77,852.78 on Invoice 2111 for hazardous material cleanup and remediation services as well as emergency response and remediation for the work on April 7 and 10 and later filed suit against the carrier for unjust enrichment after it claimed it did not get paid. In its answer, the carrier argued that it had reached a negotiated settlement with the towing company related to a separate Invoice 2108. The carrier referenced a settlement agreement and release in which it disputed the charges of $185,377.50 related to the removal of the tractor-trailer, cargo, and storage of the same but agreed to fully settle and compromise the controversies among the terms provided in the release. The release specifically contained a mutual release provision for Invoice 2108, which listed charges of price per pound and for a super load recovery related to the towing of the vehicle. The court noted that the invoice did not detail what date the work reflected in it was performed but that it was dated April 9, one day prior to the alleged additional work on April 10. The defendant carrier moved for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that the release applied not only to Invoice 2108, but also Invoice 2111. In opposing the motion, the towing company argued the release only contemplated Invoice 2108, not Invoice 2111, while the carrier argued that it applied to any claim related to Invoice 2108, which contemplated the work outlined in Invoice 2111. In analyzing the release, the court noted that it did not include language releasing the carrier from any and all past, present, or future claims, demands, obligations, actions, or causes of action which have or might accrue but that it was specifically tailored to claims related to Invoice 2108. The court also found that the work outlined in Invoice 2111 could be considered as separate work despite arising from the same accident as Invoice 2108 and that the release was silent as to Invoice 2111. While the court stated that the release language did not wholly support nor preclude the carrier’s contention that it covered Invoice 2111, it recommended the district court deny the motion for judgment on the pleadings, allowing the case to proceed through discovery.

Thompson’s Transport, LLC v. Lisi’s Towing Serv., Inc., 2024 WL 623708, No. 7:23-cv-2385 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 13, 2024). In this dispute between a carrier and towing company, the district court granted the carrier’s motion to dismiss the towing company’s counterclaim but allowed the towing company the opportunity to amend to add a claim under contract law. The carrier was involved in an accident which resulted in the overturning of its tractor-trailer and spill of 45,000 pounds of frozen French fries. The towing company was called to the scene to assist with the tow and cleanup. The carrier later sued the towing company, arguing it had damaged its trailer and refrigerator unit, failed to salvage French fries, and improperly placed a lien on the vehicle based on excessive fees of $150,000. The towing company counterclaimed, asserting its lien was proper and that the carrier owed more than $130,000 for “fair and reasonable costs of its services and storage fees.” The carrier moved to dismiss the counterclaim, arguing that the New York Lien Law did not provide for such relief as alleged by the towing company, but instead any claim was only provided for by contract law. The court agreed, finding that the law did not provide an independent claim for payment, only a right against the property over which the lien was exerted. However, the court noted that the towing company might be able to assert contract or quasi-contract claims against the carrier, so it granted the tow company leave to amend its complaint to add such a claim.

Hernandez v. Ventura Sys LLC, 2024 WL 583500, No. 3:23-cv-2244 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 13, 2024). In this action involving a fatal accident, the court granted a motor carrier’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s direct claims for negligence, negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, negligent training, negligent supervision, negligent retention, and gross negligence while allowing the plaintiffs the opportunity to replead. The carrier’s driver was transporting goods for the carrier and parked the tractor-trailer on the shoulder of the interstate to inspect a mechanical failure. The plaintiff’s decedent then veered out of his lane and collided with the tractor-trailer, dying as a result of the collision. Plaintiffs then sued under the aforementioned causes of action. In analyzing the negligent entrustment claim, the court found the plaintiffs had failed to plausibly allege that the driver was unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless at the time of entrustment. The court found that the plaintiffs did not rebut that the driver was properly licensed. As to negligent hiring and retention claims, the court found that the complaint was silent as to how the carrier was inadequate in its investigation of the driver or that said investigation revealed unfitness to drive. The court specifically found that the plaintiffs had not pled that a background check by a reasonable employer would have revealed anything to prevent an employer from hiring the driver or maintaining the driver in the position of driver. As for negligent training, the court found that the plaintiffs failed to allege how the carrier had not trained the driver to drive in a safe and prudent manner or inspect the vehicle. Similarly, the court found that, assuming the carrier had a duty to supervise the driver, there were no allegations to support how the carrier was negligent in its supervision of the driver because nothing in the complaint stated how any alleged failure to supervise constituted a breach of the carrier’s duty or proximately caused the accident. Finally, the court found that the plaintiffs had failed to allege negligence and gross negligence based upon the factual allegations in the complaint. However, the court allowed the plaintiffs 28 days to file an amended complaint setting forth more detailed factual allegations.

Daniels v. A.E.N. Asphalt, Inc., 2024 WL 445773, No. KNL-CV23-6060505-8 (Conn. Super. Ct. Jan. 30, 2024). In this negligence action arising from a motor vehicle accident, the court granted a motion to strike a cause of action for alleged violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The plaintiff filed suit after a rearend collision and alleged a cause of action against the carrier for the commercial driver’s alleged violation of the FMCSRs. The carrier moved to dismiss the cause of action, arguing the FMCSRs do not create a private right of action for personal injury suits. In examining Connecticut caselaw, the court concurred, finding that the FMCSRs did not create a private right of action. The plaintiff argued that a violation of the FMCSRs would constitute evidence of negligence, but the court found the authority cited by the plaintiff distinguishable from the facts of this case.

Lengacher v. Wayne, 2024 WL 728050, No. 3:23-cv-547 (N.D. Ind. Feb. 22, 2024). In this action arising from a motor vehicle accident, the court granted in part a motor carrier’s motion to dismiss negligent hiring, supervision, and punitive damages claims. The carrier’s driver admitted he was driving 60 mph in a 40-mph zone at the time of the collision. The plaintiff asserted a punitive damages claim on the basis that the driver failed to comply with applicable laws and regulations based on his speeding and failure to keep a proper lookout. The plaintiff also sought punitive damages against the carrier, arguing it was vicariously liable for the driver’s conduct and also that it failed to comply with applicable regulations regarding the inspection, maintenance, and safe operation of its vehicles. However, the court found that the driver was not out of service at the time of the accident and that there were no allegations to support a conscious disregard on the part of the carrier that the driver was a danger to others on the road. Thus, the court granted the motion to dismiss the punitive damages claim against the carrier but converted it to a request for punitive damages under the plaintiff’s prayer for relief.

Whaley v. Amazon.com, Inc., 2024 WL 385019, No. 2:23-cv-04317 (D.S.C. Feb. 1, 2024). In this action arising from an accident between tractor trailer and a passenger vehicle, the court granted in part and denied in part the defendants’ motion to dismiss and separately denied their motion to strike. The commercial motor vehicle driver was involved in a collision with the plaintiff after allegedly turning in front of him. The driver was operating under the authority of a carrier, which had entered into an agreement with Amazon as part of its Relay Program. The plaintiff filed his complaint, alleging fourteen causes of action, predominately based in state law negligence. Amazon moved to dismiss or, in the alternative, to strike portions of the complaint regarding the Amazon Relay Program. The plaintiff opposed the motion, contending that the allegations regarding the Relay Program were necessary to demonstrate the exercise of control over the carrier and the driver, as well as to allege a claim for vicarious liability against Amazon. In a thorough analysis of the pleadings and the arguments, the court granted the motion to dismiss the claims for direct negligence against Amazon but found that the plaintiff had properly alleged sufficient control by Amazon over the driver to support an agency claim and also sufficient facts to support a vicarious liability claim. In allowing the agency claim to remain, the court noted that the Relay Program app generated invoices to pay the truck drivers, while other agency factors were factually plausible to support a claim at the pleading stage. The court also denied the motion to dismiss the negligent entrustment claim, finding that the plaintiff had alleged that the commercial driver was a poor driver and that the trucking company had entrusted its tractor to him and Amazon its trailer to him despite this knowledge. As to negligent hiring, training, retention, and supervision, the court noted that the parties did not provide direct arguments as to these claims but that it was enough to survive the motion to dismiss phase. The court did grant the motion as to negligent maintenance, finding that there was no allegation of a duty imposed on Amazon to inspect the tractor and no allegation of any defect in the trailer. As to the negligent selection of a subcontractor claim against Amazon, the court found the allegations sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. The court also allowed joint venture/enterprise liability claims to survive, finding that the allegations, taken as true, were sufficient to support such claims. The court also denied Amazon’s motion to strike the allegations of the complaint regarding the relay program, as the court found the requirements of the program could potentially be relevant to support the plaintiff’s causes of action.


Mays v. Uber Freight, LLC, 2024 WL 332917, No. 5:23-cv-00073 (W.D.N.C. Jan. 29, 2024). In this broker liability action involving a fatal accident, the District Court granted a motion to dismiss negligence, negligent hiring, training, supervision, retention, and wrongful death claims asserted against a freight broker. Following the accident with a carrier selected by the broker, the tort plaintiffs asserted the aforementioned causes of action against the broker. In moving to dismiss, Uber Freight argued that, as a broker, FAAAA preemption applied to all the plaintiffs’ causes of action asserted against it. The court agreed, finding that the allegations of the plaintiffs were related to Uber Freight’s rates, prices, or services so as to be preempted under FAAAA. In so ruling, the court looked to the Ye and Aspen decisions of the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits, respectively, to find that all claims, including the basic negligence claims were preempted. The court also found that a vicarious liability claim could not be established against Uber Freight as the mere broker to the transaction, finding that “the relationship between brokers and motor vehicle safety will [generally] be indirect, at most.” The court also found that the plaintiffs’ allegations of control by Uber Freight over the carrier did not have factual support, and it, therefore, dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims.

Golibart v. Complete Oilfield Servs., LLC, 2024 WL 379909, No. 1:24-cv-00020 (W.D. Tex. Jan. 31, 2024). In this broker liability action, the federal magistrate recommended that the matter be remanded back to state court after the defendants removed the case to federal court based solely upon FAAAA preemption. Plaintiffs filed suit against a broker and carrier after the carrier was involved in a collision that killed a cyclist. The broker removed the case to federal court, arguing that FAAAA created federal question jurisdiction. The Plaintiffs moved to remand the case back to state court, arguing the removal was not timely and that their state law claims were not completely preempted under FAAAA. The broker argued it had timely removed the case, that the Plaintiffs were attempting to create a new standard of care to apply to freight brokers, and that FAAAA gave rise to federal jurisdiction. The court found that the broker had not shown that it could not have timely removed the case after receiving the original complaint, which had substantially similar allegations as the amended complaint. Thus, the court recommended remand to state court without reaching the question of whether FAAAA would have given rise to federal jurisdiction.


Starr Indem. & Liab. Co. v. Expeditors Int’l of Wash., Inc., 2024 WL 358901, No. 2:23-cv-00621 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 31, 2024). In this cargo claim brought by a subrogated insurer of a shipper, the District Court granted a railway’s and logistics company’s motions to dismiss under the Carmack Amendment while allowing the subrogated insurer to amend its Carmack claim. The suit arose after the subrogee’s insured purchased several items of clothing to be shipped from several Asian countries to its customers in Ohio. A non-vessel owning common carrier (“NVOCC”) issued two sea waybills for the transportation of the goods in four containers to the State of Washington, and a freight forwarder would handle the transportation of the goods from Washington to Ohio. Once the goods arrived in Washington, the freight forwarder had the goods consolidated into two cargo trailers and issued two “bookings” to transport the trailers overland from Washington to Ohio. The freight forwarder contracted with a carrier to pick up the goods and physically transport them to Ohio. This carrier, Max Trans, then picked up the goods and took them to a container yard. Max Trans then subcontracted some or all of the carriage to another carrier, Delta. At the container yard, Max Trans and/or Delta erroneously believed the goods were to be transported by rail to Ohio, so one or both of them took the goods to the railway’s yard where they loaded the goods onto the railway’s trailer on flat car “TOFC.” They did so despite the shipper requesting overland carriage by truck. The train on which the goods were loaded derailed and caught fire, and the goods were destroyed. The insured shipper then submitted its claim to the Plaintiff subrogated insurer, who in turn filed suit against the railway and the carriers. The railway and Max Trans argued the Plaintiff’s claims were preempted under Carmack and COGSA. The Court agreed as to Carmack, finding that the Plaintiff agreed “in principle” that Carmack applied, despite also suggesting it did not apply due to the mistake in the shipping process. The court found that at least one of the carriers had to issue a Carmack-compliant bill of lading under the facts, and while the Plaintiff argued there was no evidence that the railway issued a bill of lading, the court noted that this did not matter, as the relevant question was whether a carrier was required to issue a bill of lading. The court also rejected the Plaintiff’s argument that its insured did not purposefully avail itself of the railway’s services, instead finding that Carmack applied to treat the several carriers as one system. The court also found that the Plaintiff failed to state facts sufficient to constitute a Carmack claim, but it allowed the Plaintiff the opportunity to amend the complaint to sufficiently allege such a claim. The court also rejected the railway’s argument for dismissal on the ground that the Plaintiff failed to provide written notice under the uniform bill of lading requirements, given that the allegations showed a bill of lading was not issued.

AXA XL Ins. Co UK Ltd. v. Exel Inc., 2024 WL 639327, No. 2:23-cv-21874 (D.N.J. Feb. 15, 2024). In this action filed by a subrogated insurer, the District Court granted in part and denied in part the Defendant logistics company’s motion to dismiss. The Defendant had received three shipments of champagne for transport from New Jersey to the consignee in Florida. Three bills of lading were issued to the logistics company’s carrier, but the carrier was involved in an accident in South Carolina while transporting the champagne. While some of the bottles of champagne were salvaged, the subrogated insurer sought reimbursement for the remainder of the loss. The Plaintiff insurer alleged that the logistics company had operated as a carrier and a broker and brought claims under the Carmack Amendment and for breach of contract. The logistics company moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim, but the court found the Plaintiff had properly alleged a Carmack claim. As for the breach of contract claim, the court found that it would not be preempted under FAAAA and further that it would not be preempted under Carmack if the logistics company operated as a broker, which the complaint alternatively alleged. The court found the plaintiff could properly plead in the alternative that the logistics company operated as a broker or a carrier. However, the court did dismiss the Plaintiff’s claim that the logistics company failed to comply with “industry guidelines and applicable law,” finding that such allegations could not form the basis of a breach of contract claim. The court also denied the Defendant’s motion to dismiss for improper venue, finding that the suit could be filed in South Carolina where the accident occurred but also in New Jersey where the cargo was shipped.

Julsonnet v. Tophills Inc., 2024 WL 583541, No. 22-10767 (D. Mass. Feb. 13, 2024). In this cargo claim action, the district court granted in part and denied in part a carrier’s motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs hired a logistics company to arrange for the moving and storage of their belongings across the country, and the logistics company hired the defendant carrier. The plaintiffs paid a 25% deposit and alleged the carrier loaded part of their belongings, left, and never returned to load the remainder of their goods. They also alleged the carrier refused to return the goods that had been loaded. The plaintiffs sued the logistics company, the carrier, and the owners of each company under violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act, civil RICO, the FTC Act, and several other state law claims. The carrier counterclaimed, alleging the plaintiffs failed to pay it for the moving and packing services that had been done. It was alleged that when the carrier’s foreman initially arrived to pick up the goods, he demanded that the plaintiffs sign a new bill of lading before the movers began loading the truck. The plaintiffs refused, but the loading commenced. When the plaintiffs communicated that they would not pay 65% of the balance due until the truck was fully loaded, the carrier allegedly took what it had loaded, left, and never returned to load the remainder of the goods. While the plaintiffs were finally reunited with their belongings after contacting the police, they still filed suit. The carrier and its owner, the only remaining defendants, argued that the state law claims were preempted under Carmack. The plaintiffs argued Carmack did not apply because the carrier never took their goods outside the State of Massachusetts. Ultimately, the court found that some of the claims were not preempted because the plaintiffs had alleged harms apart from the loss or damage of the goods but that other claims alleging the damage or destruction of the goods were preempted. The court also denied summary judgment with respect to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act claim, granted summary judgment as to the carrier but not the owner for the civil RICO claim, denied it as to the breach of contract claim, granted it as to the unfair or deceptive business practice claim (as the decision to hire the carrier was for personal rather than business reasons), and denied summary judgment as to the plaintiffs misrepresentation claims.


Progressive Mountain Ins. Co. v. Chen, 2024 WL 476962, No. 1:22-cv-1913 (N.D. Ga. Feb. 7, 2024). In this declaratory judgment action, the court granted summary judgment and a default judgment in favor of the insurer. Regarding the facts, the tort plaintiff/driver was an employee of the defendant carrier and had been tasked with picking up a load of fish from Arkansas and delivering it to Atlanta. On his return trip, the tort plaintiff/driver was involved in an accident when he lost control of his vehicle, crossed a median, and hit another tractor-trailer. The insurer insured the vehicle being operated by the tort plaintiff/driver, and the policy contained several exclusions and an MCS-90 Endorsement. One of the exclusions stated “insurance . . . does not apply to injury to or death of the insured’s employees while engaged in the course of their employment.” The policy also contained an exclusion for bodily injury to the insured’s employees and for injuries that would be covered under workers’ compensation. The policy also contained a UM endorsement, which read that the insurer would “pay for damages, other than punitive or exemplary damages, which an insured is legally entitled to recover from the owner or operator of an uninsured auto because of bodily injury or property damage,” and the endorsement applied when (1) an injury was sustained by an insured; (2) the injury was caused by an accident; and (3) the events leading to the injury arose “out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of an uninsured auto.” The endorsement also stated that “an ‘uninsured auto’ does not include any vehicle or equipment . . . shown on the declarations page of this policy.” The vehicle driven by the tort plaintiff/driver was listed on the declarations page. The insurer argued that the claims for coverage by the tort plaintiff/driver were barred because of the exclusionary language in the policy and the language contained in the MCS-90 Endorsement. The insurer also argued that the tort plaintiff/driver was not entitled to UM coverage because the vehicle he was driving did not meet the definition of an uninsured auto. The tort plaintiff/driver argued that enforcement of the exclusions would violate public policy. In analyzing the insurer’s claim for declaratory relief, the court viewed the uncontroverted evidence that the tort plaintiff/driver was an employee within the course and scope of his employment and that the covered auto was not an uninsured vehicle. Finding that the exclusion was unambiguous, it found that the insurer had no obligation under the policy to the tort plaintiff/driver. In analyzing the tort plaintiff/driver’s public policy argument, the court found that the employer had failed to procure requisite workers’ compensation insurance but that the employer would be personally obligated to cover the injuries. Thus, because the driver was not unprotected, the court did not invalidate the exclusions as against public policy. The court also granted default judgment against the employer, which had failed to timely answer.

Prime Ins. Co. v. Cordova, 2024 WL 513706, No. 22C-04-086, (Del. Feb. 9, 2024). In this appeal by the insurer of an interlocutory order, the Delaware Supreme Court declined to hear the interlocutory appeal.  A commercial driver was involved in an accident and struck another vehicle, injuring the occupant. The injured driver sued the commercial driver and his employer, and the Superior Court entered a default judgment after they failed to respond. Prime, the insurer of the commercial driver’s employer, insured a different vehicle under the employer’s policy, which included an MCS-90 Endorsement. Following the entry of the default judgment, Prime moved to intervene in the tort suit, but the Superior Court denied the motion because Prime was unwilling to confirm that the MCS-90 Endorsement would apply to the accident and because its application was untimely. Prime moved for an interlocutory appeal, but the Supreme Court refused the appeal, finding the application was not timely filed.

New York Marine & Gen. Ins. Co. v. ST Freight LLC, 2024 WL 343230, No. 23-C-1268 (E.D. Wis. Jan. 30, 2024). In this declaratory judgment action, the district court granted the insured’s motion to dismiss. The insured operated as a freight broker, and the insurer issued a policy contained general liability coverage, an umbrella policy, and a commercial auto policy. The insured was named as one of several defendants in a lawsuit arising from an accident in New Mexico that resulted in two fatalities. The insured sought coverage under its policy, but the insurer responded that it owed no obligations to defend or indemnify the freight broker. The insurer then filed this declaratory judgment in the Eastern District of Washington, seeking to confirm the same with respect to the New Mexico lawsuit. The freight broker filed a third-party complaint in the New Mexico action against the insurer, seeking a ruling regarding the insurer’s coverage obligations. The broker then moved to dismiss or stay this declaratory judgment action, pending the disposition of the New Mexico claim. The Wisconsin court agreed, finding that dismissal of the declaratory judgment was appropriate, given that both parties were also parties in the New Mexico action and that allowing the declaratory judgment to proceed would not serve a useful purpose but be duplicative. Thus, the court abstained from proceeding further and granted the motion to dismiss.

AmGUARD Ins. Co. v. Hansen, 2024 WL 665649, No. 1:22-cv-197 (M.D. Ala. Feb. 16, 2024). In this declaratory judgment action, the court denied several moving parties’ motion for a judgment on the pleadings. The matter stemmed from a car wreck involving a Donald Schulman Wrecking Service (“DSW”) vehicle. AmGUARD was the insurer of the DSW vehicle, and it alleged that the former DSW owner misrepresented to law enforcement that he was the driver of the vehicle when it was in fact his son. The insurer also alleged that the DSW owner misrepresented on his policy application that there would be no other drivers for the business apart from himself, despite knowing that his son would drive and the policy requiring DSW to report all possible drivers to the insurer for approval prior to hiring as a driver. The tort claimants, who had been named as defendants in the declaratory judgment action, moved for judgment on the pleadings.  It appeared undisputed that the coverage form preconditioned coverage on DSW’s compliance with its duties to provide notice of how, when and where the accident occurred and to assist with investigation of the claim. The coverage form also contained a clause stating it was void in the event that there was any fraud or misrepresentations of material fact on the part of the insured. It also contained an MCS-90 endorsement. The insurer sought a declaration that the policy was void based on DSW’s alleged misrepresentations, that it had no obligations to provide coverage due to DSW’s failure to cooperate with the investigation, and that it had no duty under the MCS-90 Endorsement because the vehicle was not engaged in interstate commerce at the time of the accident and that the endorsement was void due to the alleged misrepresentations. The court found that the pleadings did not allege that the insurer knew that the son was driving vehicles when it issued the policy and denied the individuals’ motion on those grounds. With respect to the notice requirement, the individuals claimed that the lack of notice was immaterial because the son would have been a permissive user, but the court disagreed, finding that whether the son was covered was a separate issue from whether the insured complied with the notice obligations. The court was also unpersuaded by the individuals’ argument that the insurer eventually found out who was operating the vehicle, thus negating the notice requirement, instead finding that the insured could still have failed to meet its obligations under the policy. The court also rejected the individuals’ argument that the misrepresentation was not prejudicial to the insurer’s defense of the case, finding that a failure to cooperate by the insured relieves an insurer of its duty to cover and defend. Finally, the court withheld judgment on the MCS-90 issue, finding that there were questions of fact with respect to whether the vehicle was engaged in interstate commerce as well as the vehicle’s weight.

Brad Hall & Assocs., Inc. v. RSUI Indem. Co., 2024 WL 325278, No. 2:23-cv-00213 (D. Nev. Jan. 26, 2024). In this declaratory judgment action, the court granted in part dueling motions for summary judgment between an insured and its excess insurer. The insured’s driver was involved in an accident that resulted in property damage, bodily injuries, and two separate fuel spills. The Nevada DOT dispatched an emergency response contractor to perform pollution mitigation work. The insured also hired its own contractor to perform pollution mitigation efforts, and it claimed it did so prior to hearing from the Nevada DOT. The insured had three policies relevant to the accident, one which provided coverage for pollution, another which provided business automobile coverage, and the excess policy which applied to the business auto policy. The first level insurer on the business auto policy paid for the property damage, personal injuries, and remediation costs for the fuel spilled from the tractor, but not for the fuel spilled from the trailers, and its policy limit was exhausted. The excess insurer accepted coverage for the injuries and property damage, but not for the environmental remediation, arguing the primary insurer’s policy did not provide coverage for the trailer spills and that the excess policy had a pollution exclusion. The insured sued the excess insurer for breach of contract, bad faith, unfair claims practices, and for a declaratory judgment. The excess insurer also filed for declaratory relief. In examining the policy, the court found that the excess insurer would “pay those sums in excess of the [primary insurer’s policy] that [the insured] become[s] legally obligated to pay as damages because of injury to which this insurance applies, providing that [the primary insurer’s policy] also applies, or would apply but for the exhaustion of its applicable Limits of Insurance.” The excess policy was subject to the same terms as the primary policy, except for any provisions to the contrary. Turning to the primary policy, the court found there was no question the tractor was a covered auto and that it covered pollution costs or expenses. The court also found the policy contained a valid exclusion for fuel spill from the trailers. However, the court found that the excess policy would apply to cover fuel spilled from the tractor if the costs for the cleanup arose from a statutory or regulatory obligation but not if the costs arose from a request, demand, or order to clean up based on the plain unambiguous language of the policy.

Am. Sentinel Ins. Co. v. Nat’l Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 2024 WL 545708, No. 23-55175 (9th Cir. Feb. 12, 2024). In this appeal from a grant of summary judgment and denial of a motion for judgment on the pleadings, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court. The insured had leased a trailer to a separate carrier, which attached the trailer to its tractor. The court found the trailer to be a covered auto under the policy, as it defined an insured as “the owner or anyone else from whom you hire or borrow a covered auto that is a trailer while the trailer is connected to another covered auto that is a power unit.” The question for the court was whether any exceptions applied to the definition of an insured. National contended that the Truckers Exception, which provides that a trucker is not an insured “if the trucker is not insured for hired autos under an auto liability insurance form that insures on a primary basis the owners of the autos . . . while the autos are being used exclusively in the trucker’s business and pursuant to operating rights granted to the trucker by a public authority.” However, the court found the exception did not apply, as it covered only a loan or lease by the separate carrier to another trucker. The court also found the exception did not apply because the initial carrier had requisite reciprocal hired auto coverage. Thus, the court affirmed the lower court’s ruling.


No cases of note to report this month.

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