Menu

Bits & Pieces

December 2021

image_print

Happy New Year!!!

By the time this gets sent out, the new year will almost be upon us. We hope your holidays were bright and that you’re looking forward to a great new year in 2022. We enjoy working with all of our customers and users. As we look towards 2022 and the opportunities of the new year. At CAB, we’re again committing ourselves to provide industry-leading resources and second-to-none customer service.

No matter what 2022 brings, we’re excited and proud to be a part of your organization’s continued success. From our team to your team, we wish you a Happy New Year!!!!

Follow us at CAB Linkedin Page CAB Facebook Page


CAB’s Tips & Tricks: Filter By Date Feature Added to BASICs Calculator When using the Inspections Tab in the BASICs Calculator, users are often interested in being able to filter by date within the 24-month period. That enhancement was released within the last month. 

Now users can pinpoint a timeframe overall or within a specific BASICs category to filter the inspection as a whole or individual violation. The filter automatically defaults to the full date range for the inspections contained in the current scores, but users can narrow the results with either the slider bar or the calendar feature.

This allows users to, among other things, filter specific inspections and/or violations to better understand how a DataQ can affect a motor carrier’s CAB-BASIC performance. 

spDZVKOK5WZrv6tvZLKVEtHw84idsqgcldSohY3ihpHT866cD7zOcwDJKNVTMEuxBFw22QT7IVXRUvJ70sYXyz7xkYPERx3vEb8KK9Xz1v6FbVQVilZAyXMOHb fiPS0sRGdQNj1

We appreciate folks letting us know how you use the system and how we can enhance that experience. 

You are encouraged to reach out via phone, email or via the “Contact Us” button in the My Account area of the menu.

THIS MONTH WE REPORT:New York passes law to allow under-21 intrastate truck drivers: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Nov. 15 signed a bill into law that will allow 18-20-year-olds to obtain commercial driver’s licenses in the state, with certain requirements, including completing a special training program as well as a minimum number of hours of supervised driving. To review the complete article, click here.

New HOS regs a boon for already-hot short haul segment: Four changes to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration’s hours of service regulations made last fall have provided fleets and their drivers with additional flexibility, which analysts say will yield dividends to the already fast-growing segment – both in more time to work each day and the ability to potentially skip ELDs. Please click here to review the complete article.

Which states are actually doing a good job with highways and bridges: The Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank, recently released its 26th Annual Highway Report, which ranks the condition of roads and bridges and how much money the states spend to achieve that status. Click here to review the complete article.

GqKnIYiGLfZy MtjoXZlSH0R

Administration unveils plan for helping fleets with driver recruitment, retention: President Joe Biden last month announced the Biden-Harris Trucking Action Plan. Senior Administration officials said the aim of the 90-day blitz is “to strengthen the trucking workforce … to improve recruiting, retention and productivity.”  For more information on this topic, click here.

CVSA Adopts North American Fatigue Management Program: The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is now home to the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP), a comprehensive educational and training program aimed at preventing fatigue-related risks and crashes and cultivating a corporate safety culture that proactively works to eliminate driver fatigue. For additional specifics on this program, click here.

New Research from ATRI Quantifies Truck Driver Motivations and Levels of Satisfaction: The American Transportation Research Institute released the results of its analysis examining the differing motivators for why truck drivers choose to be a Company Driver or an Owner-Operator/Independent Contractor (OO/IC). 

When presented with identical factors that motivated their decision to be a Company Driver or OO/IC, Company Drivers indicated their top three motivators were Job Security/Stability, Income, and Healthcare/Retirement Savings.  Among OO/IC, the top three motivating factors were Independence/Ability to Set Hours, Schedule/Flexibility, and Choice of Routes/Length of Haul.  To access the complete ATRI report, click here.

I0RoAFVyK0H Aw 6aJUkeUqhKH7 mrkq5Ay55o5OpzPSTzbldChtZt726j0ix65g51Ks 4qmA0WKB Dr HtYBTSe9 suqLH94B I

Acting FMCSA boss stepping down: Meera Joshi, acting administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), is leaving the post to accept a position as Deputy Mayor of Operations for New York City. Click here to review the full article.

Commercial Auto

Do you have to actually be transporting property in interstate commerce for the MCS-90 endorsement to be triggered? The Northern District in Indiana answered that question with a “no”. The court agreed that a “totality of circumstances” analysis was the proper way to address this issue, concluding that “(i)t seems very logical to conclude that even empty trucks, en route to pick up loads to continue their trip, are engaged in interstate commerce”. The court also held that the MCS-90 endorsement covered interest and costs associated with the judgment.  Prime Insurance Co. v. Wright, 2021 WL 5587876

Following a trolley bus accident with multiple injuries the Superior Court of Delaware concluded that the insurer for the bus was liable for a consent judgment as there was an MCS-90B on the policy. The vehicle was not scheduled on the policy. The court concluded that the filing applied to the insureds named under the policy, not just the one named in the form.  The court also agreed that the insurer could not object to a consent judgment which was not entered into fraudulently when it elected not to defend the defendants.  Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. v. Bogel, 2021 WL 5764538

Under 5th Circuit rules all defendants must consent, in writing, to removal of an action.  The Southern District in Texas remanded a truck accident case when the removing defendant failed to obtain the written consent of the other trucking company and driver, who filed a late consent.  Bellamy v. J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., 2021 WL 5865705

The Southern District in Mississippi denied a motor carrier’s request for reconsideration concluding that the plaintiff was entitled to pursue recovery for a reassigned right to payment.  The court held that the plaintiff, during a timely-initiated negligence action, can pursue a re-assigned right to payment of damages arising from the negligence claim even if the claim was time barred when reassigned.  Taylor v. Wal-Mart Transportation, 2021 WL 5932954

Summary judgment was not appropriate for the plaintiff or the trucking defendant in the Middle District of Alabama.  Although the truck driver blocked all lanes of traffic while being  stopped sideways across the road, the court held that the plaintiff had not yet proven all of the elements necessary for judgment on claims on wantonness.  Stafford v. Sunland Distribution of Florida, Inc. 2021 WL 5909843

Insurers who are arguing over the applicability of coverage under their respective commercial auto policies cannot use the MCS-90 against each other. The Southern District in Mississippi, in a declaratory judgment action brought by one insurer, concluded that the second insurer’s policy did not cover the vehicle and that the plaintiff could not use the MCS-90 endorsement to keep the second insurer in the case. However, that would not preclude an action against the second insurer by the injured party once the pre-conditions for a claim under the endorsement were met.  Wesco Insurance Co. v. Rich, 2021 WL 5750932

While granting a default judgment to an injured plaintiff in the claim for damages stemming from a truck accident, the Middle District in Pennsylvania concluded that the plaintiff properly asserted claims for vicarious liability and for negligent hiring and training. The question of punitive damages remained opened pending a hearing on damages.  Karp v. Jenkins, 2021 WL  5631750

The Western District in Oklahoma held that neither motor carrier was entitled to summary judgment in the claims arising from a two truck accident.  The plaintiff had not yet established all of the necessary elements for a negligence claim.  The defendant was also not entitled to judgment on the claim for property damages simply because the carrier did not own the vehicle, as it was leased to the plaintiff.  CTC, Inc. v Schneider National, Inc. 2021 WL 5815833

A trucking company was unable to argue that the plaintiff bore contributory fault for a fatality when plaintiff failed to place his son in a car seat before the truck accident.  The Western District of Arkansas concluded that Arkansas law precluded the motor carrier from using that as an affirmative defense.  Edwards v. Thomas, 2021 WL 5762094

When an employer concedes liability for the actions of the driver, the claims for negligent hiring, training, supervision and retention were dismissed by the court in the Western District of Oklahoma.  Negligence per se claims were also dismissed as they were based upon violations of the FMCSA safety regulations and the CDL regulations.  Plaintiff was permitted to amend the complaint to allege claims for negligent entrustment. Nichols v. Gipson, 2021 WL 5762800

The Court of Appeals in Kansas upheld a jury verdict apportioning liability between the two trucks for a vehicular accident. The court agreed that the district court was correct in ruling that the testimony did not show that the defendant truck driver was passing on the right and the shadow marks on the road were consistent with his merely trying to avoid something in front of him.  Robles v. CW Welding, 2021 WL 5758251

A trucking company was granted summary judgment on claims of wantonness and negligent and wanton hiring, training, supervision, and retention claims for injuries to the plaintiff when she was struck by the defendant’s tractor trailer while she was walking on the side of the highway. The Middle District of Alabama held, however, that there were questions of negligence and contributory negligence.    Brannon v. Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona, 2021 WL 5989145

The trial court in New York agreed that the evidence showed that the vehicle in which plaintiff was a passenger jumped in front of the defendant’s tractor trailer causing the accident which injured plaintiff.  The complaint was dismissed.  Ezzi v. Domino’s Pizza,  2021 WL 6058856

When the plaintiff was working on top of a scissor lift when a tractor trailer struck the scissor lift, causing injuries, the Southern District in Texas agreed that claims for punitive and exemplary damages could proceed against the trucking company. Plaintiff was able to allege that the truck driver saw the plaintiff  on top of the scissor lift before he entered his tractor-trailer, set the tractor-trailer in motion  and only moved approximately two to five feet before hitting the scissor lift.  Inthavong v. Roosa, 2021 WL 5999279

While the motor carrier’s various excuses for failing to comply with discovery was enough to thwart plaintiff’s demand for extreme sanctions, the Eastern District of Tennessee agreed that the motor carrier should pay the reasonable costs and expenses incurred by the plaintiff in trying to get responses.  Carroll v Eagle Tranz, Inc. 2021 WL 5985140

The District Court in Maryland agreed with the motor bus that there was no evidence that the bus caused or contributed to a collision with an unidentified tractor trailer. Plaintiff, who claimed injuries as a result of the collision was unable to support a claim against the defendant.  Riddick v Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 2021 WL 5999271

When plaintiff decedent was injured when he struck a tractor trailer which was attempting to reverse direction on the highway by executing a three-point turnaround, and was in the lane of oncoming traffic, his estate was permitted to pursue a claim of negligent training against the trucking company.  The claims for negligent hiring, retention and supervision were not supported by the facts and therefore the trucking company was given summary judgment on those claims.  Workman v. Kretzer, 2021 WL 60498482021 WL 5894626

The fact that a driver signed a lease agreement with a motor carrier which applied Missouri law and was entered into Missouri was not enough to confer jurisdiction over the truck driver for injuries arising from a California accident.  The Missouri Court of Appeals concluded that the plaintiff could not meet the requirements of the Missouri Long Arm Jurisdiction statute and the action was dismissed against the driver. Babb v. Bartlett 2021 WL 5894626

The Superior Court in Pennsylvania held that the plaintiff was entitled to have the case decided in Pennsylvania even when the plaintiff lived in Illinois, the accident occurred in Indiana where the driver lived, and all medical treatment was in Illinois and Indiana. The fact that the defendant was incorporated in Pennsylvania decisions on hiring, training and supervision of the truck driver may have been made in Pennsylvania was enough to allow the court to reject the transfer request.  Parrent v. Penske Logistics, LLC., 2021 WL 6110308

Worker’s Compensation

When the employer failed to demonstrate by credible, clear, and convincing evidence that the insurer should be equitably estopped from canceling the worker’s compensation policy based on the nonpayment of premiums prior to the claimant’s accident and the resultant compensable work-related injuries, the Commonwealth Court in Pennsylvania agreed the Board did not err in affirming the decision that the employer had no coverage. The employer was liable for the award given to the employee. Dalton’s Towing & Recovery v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, 2-21 WL 5754385

A worker’s compensation insurer was entitled to a ruling that Mississippi law applied to its subrogation lien, even when the accident causing the injuries was subject to Arkansas law.. The doctrine of dépeçage, which is a conflict of laws principle that holds it is permissible and often appropriate to apply the laws of different states to different issues in the same case, was applicable.  Bridges v BlueStar Services, LLC, 2021 WL 5829500

If an employee settles his worker’s compensation claim does his admission as to the extent of his injuries preclude him from asserting additional damages in his suit against the trucking company defendant?.  The Supreme Court in Illinois, with amicus briefs filed by many interested parties, declined to answer the question, determining that procedural issues  required that the case be dismissed.  The record revealed that subsequent to the lower court’s improper ruling the plaintiff dismissed his action in the circuit court. After the dismissal, the plaintiff failed to refile the action within one year pursuant to section 13-217 of the Code of Civil Procedure or within the statute of limitations period.  The case was therefore dismissed and the appellate’s court decision had to be vacated and the case remanded for dismissal.  Armstead v. National Freight, Inc. 2021 IL 126730

Cargo

The District Court in Connecticut held that plaintiff’s claims against an interstate motor carrier were preempted by the Carmack Amendment and that remand of the case to state court was not proper,  Plaintiff’s claims that goods were stolen before they left the house, and therefore subject to state law, did not sway the court.  Shields v. United Van Lines, 2021 WL 5832984

The District Court in Idaho  refused to permit a plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss an action without prejudice when the court had already dismissed the claims with a right to re-pled. The court also refused to grant a default judgment against one of the parties when claims were pending against the other potentially culpable entities.  Gargoyle Granite & Marble v.. Opustone, LLC. 2021 WL 5999133

© 2022 Central Analysis Bureau