TORTS & MOTOR CARRIER / “How-to” primer on suing a truck carrier for negligence of its driver – especially where evidence that driver exceeded FMCSA hours of service regulations and where access to engine data about extent of usage during defined – here these claims “reached the jury”.

Davis v. Edwards Oil Co. of Lawrenceburg, Inc., 2012 WL 5954139 (N.D. Ala. November 28, 2012). Free copy available here.

Who is affected? Any employer of a truck driver accused in a court filing of having acted negligently or wantonly – especially in context of exceeding the hours of service regulations of FMCSA. Any tort victim in a traffic collision or otherwise victimized by negligent or wanton truck driver.

In context where plaintiffs in automobile allege harm by tank truck collision, they bring lawsuit against the “deep pocket” in the form of the tank truck driver’s employer on the following theories of recovery based on fatigue due to exceeding FMCSA’s hours of service regulation:

1. Wantonness (Use of FMCSA hours of service regulation to show driver’s hours excessive).

2. Negligent and wanton entrustment (Proof that motor carrier management “should have known better” in light of driver’s record).

3. Negligent supervision (Again, exceeding federally mandated hours of service limits to make out cause of action).