Busy Autumn Teaching Truck Crash Law – part 5

Each of the eight lawyers at The Law Firm for Truck Safety and one of our paralegals have participated in and continue to educate other law firms throughout the country this fall.  This article starts with the first event from September 22, 2021. This autumn intensive teaching time continues.

Seven different legal organizations have hosted and continue to host various continuing legal education opportunities where our law firm spoke or presented papers. These organizations are:

  • Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys
  • Oklahoma Association for Justice
  • Ohio Association for Justice
  • Nevada Justice Association
  • The Melvin M. Belli Association
  • American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group
  • Texas State Bar

AAJ Trucking Litigation Group – Journal of Trucking Litigation

In October, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) published the semiannual (Summer / Fall 2021) AAJ Trucking Litigation Group – Journal of Trucking Litigation. This peer-reviewed publication goes out to hundreds of AAJ Trucking Litigation Group attorney members throughout our nation.  D.J. Young authored an article that comprised of 17 pages of the journal.

Strategies for defeating the business immunity (aka McHaffie) rule.  DJ’s article educated AAJ Trucking Litigation Group members about the problematic rule of law in many jurisdictions that provides immunity to the trucking company when it admits liability on behalf of its driver’s negligent actions.  As such, the trucking company is seeking immunity for direct negligence claims, such as negligent hiring, supervision, and retention.  DJ helps readers expose the infirm foundation of the business immunity rule so that it will not be applied in the future.  He provides readers with tools to distinguish direct negligence from imputed negligence.  He helps them “unmask” and expose the analytical flaws that give rise to the immunity rule to defeat it.

DJ lists the following objections to the corporate immunity rule: (1) the corporate immunity rule does not represent a clear majority; (2) there is no waste of judicial resources by allowing the direct negligence claims to proceed; (3) the possibility of prejudice is not a reason to adopt the corporate immunity rule; (4) a business’ negligence is not always derivative of employee negligence; (5) a corporation’s own negligence is not redundant with employee negligence; and, (6) comparative fault statutes prevent the conjectured double recovery.  The article then provides exceptions to the business immunity rule in States that have adopted it.  DJ also provides strategy considerations for avoiding problems with the business immunity rule.  

This article explains how a direct negligence cause of action against a business is a cause of action to prove how the decisions, actions, and misconduct of various management officials in a business cumulatively amount to negligence.  It is not unreasonable to think of direct negligence against a business as a vicarious liability claim for the negligence of the management team.

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