Featuring the most recent summaries and analyses of important legal developments, regulatory changes and issues of general– and often times, vital –importance, Trucking Defense Blog is your home for information impacting those of us involved in the trucking industry and the defense of trucking-related claims and lawsuits.

Inspection Reporting Now Required for Defects Only

Effective December 18, 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rescinded the requirement that commercial drivers file inspection reports when there are no vehicle deficiencies or defects. Thus, drivers are no longer required to file a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) at the end of each tour of duty. However, this does not alter…

ATTENTION: New License Requirements for Transporting Liquid Products

Do you transport liquids such as food syrups, milk, creams or other liquid food products? If so, you may need a Tank Vehicle endorsement on your CDL. During the summer of 2014, the definition of “tank vehicle” was revised to expand the number and type of vehicles hauling tanks for which drivers are required to…

Trucking Companies Hoping to Fill Crucial Shortage with Veterans Seeking Gainful Employment

On behalf of its member trucking companies, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, committed the trucking industry to the mission of hiring 100,000 U.S. military veterans over the next two years. According to a recent article in the Journal of Commerce, the trucking industry is currently short 30,000…

$525,000 Jury Verdict Awarded to AL Men Injured in Distracted Driving Crash

On November 7, 2014, after a five day jury trial in Jefferson County, Alabama, a jury delivered a verdict of $525,000 to two men injured in a distracted truck driving accident.  Plaintiffs argued that phone records showed the defendant driver had used his phone frequently that day, and contended that he was using the phone…

FMCSA Minimum Insurance Requirement Remains Unchanged – For the Time Being

In 1985, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration set a $750,000 minimum insurance requirement for motor vehicle carriers.  Earlier in 2014, there was discussion that a new rule would be promulgated raising the limit above $1 million to reflect inflationary rates.  The new limit was expected to be released this Fall, but has been delayed…

Removing Public Access to CSA Scores

Pennsylvania’s Representative Lou Barletta put forth a bill that would keep Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) scores confidential, called the Safer Trucks and Buses Act (H.R. 5532). Barletta drew from his experience as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to make a direct change to the CSA program. In addition to shielding…

Potential New Regulation Speeding Your Way

A new proposed regulation is expected to hit the Federal Register on December 12, 2014 involving speed-limiters. The proposal is expected to require the installation of speed-limiting devices on trucks that weigh 26,000 pounds or more. The American Trucking Association is pushing to have the limiters set to 65 mph. Such a limiter has been…

Lewellen v. Franklin: Missouri Supreme Court Holds Statutory Cap on Punitive Damages Unconstitutional

On September 9, 2014, the Missouri Supreme Court unanimously struck down the State’s punitive damage cap in Lewellen v. Franklin, 2014 WL 4425202 (Mo. banc Sept. 9, 2014). The plaintiff in Lewellen was a 77-year-old widow with less than $1,000 of monthly income who contracted to purchase a vehicle with National Auto Sales North’s (“National”)…

Overcoming Language Barriers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (49 CFR 391.11) requires that in order to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License, an applicant must be able to “read and speak the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and…

Beware of Fraudulent Letter

Please be on the lookout. There is a fraudulent DOT letter in circulation bearing the signature of Louis James and requesting financial information about your company. If you receive this letter, you should not respond. Click through to see the letter.

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