By David Peel
I am constantly attending–and occasionally speaking at–legal seminars and symposiums to become more accomplished in my areas of injury law.
I heard about a case that so illustrates the so-called, “Murphy’s Law.” That is our name for the idea that “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and it will happen at the most inopportune time.”
Apparently, a driver of a tractor trailer had been unexpectedly delayed in getting to a business to make his last delivery. As such, by the time the truck was fully unloaded, the driver was “out of hours” under the Federal Regulations that govern how long truck drivers can legally drive.
However, the business owner insisted that he move the truck across the street and out of the business’s parking lot.
The driver refused and explained how much trouble he could get in if he drove in excess of the hours allowed. The business owner insisted and would not wait for the replacement driver to arrive.
Eventually, the business owner’s anger won out, and the truck driver reluctantly agreed to pull the rig across the street. He had driven many miles without any event. He was only being asked to pull the semi across one street. It should be fine, right?
But Murphy’s Law was at work. Guess what happened?
Yep. He struck a car, and seriously injured a family.
The negligent trucking company only had so much insurance to compensate the injured family, so the lawyers for the family looked to see if anyone else to blame where insurance may be found. Some people call this a search for “deep pockets.”
They sued the business owner. The defense attorney for the business apparently condescendingly said, “Uh, we have a business, we are not a trucking company, so why, exactly, are you suing us under a trucking violation?”
The lawyers used the FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY REGULATIONS which has a section § 390.13: Aiding or abetting violations. It states, “No person shall aid, abet, encourage, or require a motor carrier or its employees to violate the rules of this chapter.”
There was little question that the business owner encouraged and required this violation. Eventually, the insurance for the business owner also paid the family.
Murphy’s Law is still at work.
Peel seeks justice for those injured in motorcycle, truck and car accidents, disability and medical malpractice. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.
By David Peel