Motor Carrier

Email This Page  Print This Page Print PDF

The trucking arena is a complex, regulation-ridden industry whose members are beholden to any number of local, state and federal oversights. And clients know we have the knowledge, experience and industry connections to assist them with virtually every challenge. Our geographic reach, experience and knowledge of the motor carrier industry give our clients access to unrivaled comprehensive legal advice. Whether you are looking for a rapid-response investigation after an accident, taking your company public or seeking interstate operating authority from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, our team is uniquely capable of helping you achieve your goals. We know the rules and the regulations. We know the business.

Clients turn to us for assistance with complex transportation litigation in state and federal courts throughout the United States. We counsel on and defend against environmental issues unique to the transportation industry, and we assist with the acquisition and sale of assets and/or stock of transportation companies. We guide carriers through international operating rights, and review, create and litigate transportation agreements. We also defend our self-insured motor carriers who are sued by third parties for personal injury and property damage. We draft agreements between motor carriers and shippers; assist in the acquisition and sale of operating rights; represent carriers in workers' compensation, retaliatory discharge, Americans With Disabilities Act, and wage and hour issues; guide carriers through public and private security placement offerings; defend against civil and criminal forfeiture procedures instated by the DOT; and many other issues.

Our 24-hour Emergency Response Team is just one example of our Firm's commitment to our motor carrier clients. The Team was developed to provide instantaneous post-accident intervention and investigation throughout the Firm's footprint and beyond, whenever and wherever you need us. We will evaluate the gravity of an accident; counsel and protect the company and its employees; preserve evidence; work with law enforcement personnel; identify and interview witnesses; arrange for local adjusters, photographers, reconstructionists and other experts as needed; and use our experience to anticipate and avoid issues detrimental to the company. An early game plan and a team approach are the keys to avoiding litigation and/or a successful defense. Our Motor Carrier Emergency Response Team ensures that we will be there for you at every critical moment after an accident.

Representative Services

  • Regional trial counsel for Fortune 500 trucking companies
  • Outside general counsel for numerous national and regional motor carriers
  • Defend against complex transportation litigation in state and federal courts throughout the United States
  • Federal court representation for Department of Transportation-initiated civil and criminal forfeiture procedures
  • Counsel and defend motor carriers and shippers regarding environmental issues and regulatory proceedings unique to the transportation industry
  • Defend major cargo claim litigation, including Carmack Amendment standards of liability, claims handling regulations and cargo insurance issues
  • Draft, negotiate and litigate transportation agreements between motor carriers, shippers, freight forwarders and 3PLs
  • Buyer and seller representation in mergers, consolidations, sales, acquisitions and roll-ups
  • Public and private security placement offerings
  • International operating rights

Representative Matters

  • Represented national motor carrier in a race discrimination case. Central issue was whether plaintiff applied to be an independent contractor or an employee. Won summary judgment.
  • Represented regional refrigerated carrier in workers' compensation case brought by former employee who had been involved in multi-vehicle accident. Plaintiff claimed medical expenses and total permanent disability in excess of $500,000. Court granted defense verdict and dismissed plaintiff's case.
  • Defend against claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Defended national less-than-truckload carrier in wrongful death case. Case involved allegations of driver error, negligent hiring and training, and failure to maintain equipment properly. Jury verdict in favor of client.
  • Obtained jury verdict in wrongful death case for a rental company that provided preventive maintenance inspections to trucking company.
  • Defended motor carrier in wrongful death action arising out of catastrophic accident wherein the driver was charged with fleeing the scene of an accident with injuries; the driver was demonstrably unqualified under the DOT regulations under aggravating circumstances; and the driver was alleged to have given an altered/tampered post-accident drug test specimen. The motor carrier was charged with negligent/wanton hiring, retention and supervision, as well as negligent/wanton entrustment. Successfully worked with criminal counsel to prevent the driver from being placed in position of making Hobson's choice on whether to assert 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in a civil case. Obtained reasonable, but confidential, settlement well below limits of first layer of insurance coverage.