Twitter Google +1 Facebook LinkedIn Share this page RSS

The trucking industry is complex and ever evolving, subject to a maze of state and federal statutes and regulations, not to mention tort law questions. BSCR is cognizant of the significant issues facing the industry. Our firm’s trial lawyers have long been partners with members of the trucking industry, representing their interests on several fronts. We are committed to working with clients on designing risk reduction measures and implementing strategies to avoid or minimize losses in litigation through effective pretrial analysis, trial tactics mediation techniques and negotiation.

We represent leasing companies and motor carriers (LTL, long haul, and Parcel) and their insurers, including some of the largest in the country, in a wide range of matters.  Our clients are interstate and intrastate companies whose presence is national, regional and local in scope. Our attorneys provide counsel on the various statutes, regulations, standards, policies, customs, and practice that are controlling in different jurisdictions.

BSCR attorneys begin preparing for the possibility of litigation from the moment an accident occurs. With a 24/7 emergency “go-to” team, our lawyers coordinate with reconstruction experts and field adjusters to get to the scene of an accident as soon after it is reported as possible. Because of the importance of gathering evidence immediately, our “go team” interviews the driver, ensures that the motor carrier complies with all federal post-accident inspection and testing protocols, arranges criminal defense counsel for the driver if necessary, takes and/or arranges for scene, vehicle and aerial photographs, vehicle inspections and data downloads, and generally assures preservation and documentation of everything that could be relevant in a future lawsuit. Such early investigation, preservation of evidence, and assessment is a critical component of a motor carrier defense today, particularly in the case of catastrophic injuries or death. Our firm is exceptionally skilled at coordinating this early investigative and evaluative process.

Adding to our extensive knowledge base, BSCR attorneys have experience in the design and manufacturing of commercial motor vehicles; diesel engine electronic control modules (ECMs) and vehicle sensing diagnostic modules (SDMs), and the retrieval, interpretation and application of data from these and other on-board recording devices that assist in the analysis of commercial motor vehicle accidents. In addition, we have experience with driver technique and response; visibility and conspicuity; vehicle maintenance; driver qualification, hiring, training, supervision, retention and discipline; hours of service and compliance reporting; drug and alcohol testing; loading and unloading; and various other aspects of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act, CSA 2010 and CARMAC.

Our attorneys also are available to represent trucking clients on business matters where transactional disputes arise between lessors, lessees, shippers, carriers, brokers and others within the transcontinental cargo distribution system; insurance matters; premises and product liability claims; and employment and labor issues involving discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination.

We act as panel counsel for a number of industry clients or their insurers. In addition, our attorneys hold prominent positions in professional organizations that have committees devoted to the trucking or transportation industry. Some of our attorneys practicing in this area are members of the steering committee of ALFA International’s Transportation Practice Group, the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA), and the Defense Research Institute Trucking Law Committee (DRI). Our attorneys are often asked to speak about current legal issues affecting the business at industry-sponsored events and seminars.

For more information
about the services we provide to the Trucking industry contact Jim Jarrow, Hal Meltzer or Shawn Rogers at 816.471.2121.

Results

BSCR prevails on Appeal - Transfer of case out of Madison County, Illinois for Forum Non-Conveniens Affirmed

Suit was brought against a BSCR client in Madison County, Illinois, related to a vehicle/truck accident which occurred in Montgomery County, Illinois. The plaintiff was likewise from Montgomery County. For obvious reasons, she chose to file suit in plaintiff friendly Madison County...

BSCR Obtains Favorable Jury Verdict on Behalf of Trucking Client

BSCR defended client Swift Transportation Company at trial in a case where a Swift tractor-trailer allegedly turned left in front of a motorcycle at an uncontrolled intersection on a four-lane highway. Plaintiff claimed a brain injury in the form of post concussive syndrome, a knee injury, neck pain, back pain, and headaches. . .

Blog Posts

You've Got Mail - Service of Process by Mail is Satisfactory under the Hague Service Convention

05.30.17 | The United States Supreme Court ruled on May 22, 2017, that the Hague Convention, on the service of judicial documents abroad, permits service by mail if the receiving country has not objected to service by mail and service by mail is authorized under otherwise-applicable law.

Court Muzzles Counsel: Says Defendants Cannot Ask Plaintiffs if Their Attorneys Referred Them to Treating Physicians

04.27.17 | The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled that the attorney-client privilege protects a party from being required to disclose that her attorney referred her to treating doctors.

The Daubert Standard - Coming Soon to a Missouri Court Near You

03.31.17 | Earlier this week, Governor Eric Greitens signed Missouri HB 153 into law. HB 153, which supplants Missouri’s existing expert witness standard with that set forth in Federal Rules of Evidence 702, 703, 704 and 705, effectively submits expert testimony in most civil and criminal case to the analysis set forth in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993).

Federal Judges Blow Their Stacks Over Boilerplate Objections

03.27.17 | Within a two-week period, two federal judges issued strongly worded orders denouncing the common practice of asserting boilerplate objections to written discovery.

Employees: Yes, You Can Owe Duties To Your Co-Employees

03.22.17 | The Missouri Court of Appeals rules that a worker may owe an independent duty of care to a co-worker, which is separate and distinct from her employer’s non-delegable duties.

Mere Designation of an Expert Witness Does Not Waive the Work Product Doctrine Protections

11.02.16 | A Missouri plaintiff did not irrevocably waive the protections of the work product doctrine simply by designating an expert witness and then withdrawing the designation without disclosing the expert’s analysis or conclusions.

Constructive Discharge Claims: When Does the 45-Day Period for Initiating Contact with the EEOC Begin to Run?

06.08.16 | On May 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Green v. Brennan in order to resolve a split among the Circuits on whether, in an action for constructive discharge, the 45-day limitation period for the employee to initiate contact with the EEOC begins to run after the employer’s last discriminatory act, or at the time of the employee’s resignation.

Success in Tackling the "Reptile Theory" of Trucking Accident Litigation With a Motion to Dismiss and Strike

05.25.16 | A recent order of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas may be beneficial to defense practitioners fighting the so-called "reptile theory" of plaintiff’s litigation, frequently aimed at trucking companies, which attempts to put the company on trial rather than litigating the circumstances of a particular accident. A targeted motion to dismiss and strike, focused upon the broad, boilerplate complaints that allege hiring, training, qualification, and supervision practices by the company and alleged violations of the FMCSA and FMSCR, may help to limit the scope of discovery and evidence sought in furtherance of the “reptile theory.”

Kansas Court of Appeals Upholds Noneconomic Damages Cap Again

03.28.16 | K.S.A. § 60-19a02, establishing caps on recovery for noneconomic damages in personal injury actions, is constitutional as applied to personal injuries resulting from collisions between motor carriers and motor vehicles.

"Excusable neglect" is a real standard requiring real evidence (Updated 01.04.2016)

01.04.16 | While a Kansas court may grant relief from a final judgment based on excusable neglect, it is an abuse of discretion to grant that relief when the party seeking that relief has failed either to explain what facts constituted excusable neglect or to provide any evidence to support that claim.

The Eighth Circuit Provides Clarity on Outside Sales Exemption and Waiver Requirements under FLSA

04.01.15 | The Eighth Circuit recently analyzed the application of the “outside sales” and “administrative” exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act in the context of promotional workers. Also, the Court was asked to decide, for the first time, what constitutes a valid waiver of an employee’s rights under the FLSA.

The Supreme Court's Jurisdictional Stretch in Resolving the Evidence Needed to Support a CAFA Removal

01.06.15 | A defendant removing a case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act need not provide evidence proving the jurisdictional amount in controversy in the notice of removal. A “short and plain statement of the grounds for removal” is sufficient.

Are FedEx Delivery Drivers Employees or Independent Contractors? The Kansas Supreme Court Applies the 20-Factor Test, and Rules They Are Employees

11.06.14 | The Kansas Supreme Court, in Craig v. FedEx Ground Package System, clarifies the standard for determining whether workers are employees or independent contractors

The Missouri Supreme Court Rules That Parties May Have a Duty as a Joint Employer With Its Contractors Pursuant to the Missouri Minimum Wage Law

09.19.14 | Individuals and businesses relying upon contractors to provide labor services may be exposing themselves to liability if these contractors fail to pay their employees in accordance with the Missouri Minimum Wage Law.

Frying the Frye Test and Increasing the Caps: New Amendments to Kansas Civil Actions and Civil Procedure

07.11.14 | K.S.A. 60-19a02 has been amended, increasing Kansas's long-standing cap on non-economic damages (pain and suffering) recoverable in personal injury. K.S.A. 60-456(b) has also been amended to mirror the requirements for the admissibility of expert testimony set forth in Fed. R. Evid. 702.

In a differential etiology, experts need not rule out all possible causes

06.23.14 | Experts are not required to rule out all possible causes when performing the differential etiology analysis if the experts have properly ruled in the alleged cause.

Punitive Damages Part 1: Don't Get Caught Flat-Footed

04.29.14 | A Kansas plaintiff may amend their pleadings to assert punitive damages up until the day of the pretrial conference.

Workers' Compensation + Retaliation = Missouri Supreme Court adopts the "contributing factor" standard

04.22.14 | A man who sued his former employer, alleging he was discharged in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim, appealed on the basis that the trial court used a jury instruction with the wrong standard. In a 5-2 decision written by Judge George W. Draper III, the Missouri Supreme Court rejected the 'exclusive causation' standard and replaced it with the "contributing factor" standard. On remand and in future cases, the jury must determine whether the plaintiff's filing of a workers' compensation claim was a "contributing factor" to his or her discharge.

Kansas abolishes assumption of the risk defense.

04.21.14 | Based on its adoption of a statutory scheme of comparative negligence, Kansas has abolished common law assumption of the risk as a bar to recovery. Simmons v. Porter, 298 Kan. 299, 312 P3d 345, 355 (Kan. 2013).

A mundane lesson from an important decision, or, the importance of presenting evidence

03.20.14 | The plaintiff has the burden of proving standing, which is a jurisdictional issue that can be raised at any time.

No Signed Settlement Necessary, Except When It Is

02.25.14 | In Kansas, the parties bind themselves to an enforceable settlement, even though the parties contemplate subsequent execution of a formal instrument. However, when the parties specifically condition a contract on it being reduced to writing and signed, there is no enforceable contract until such act is accomplished.

Two Recent Decisions Threaten to Erode Protections for Employers Against Negligent Hiring, Training and Retention Claims

10.30.13 | Companies who employ drivers may be exposed to greater liability in Missouri courts. In McHaffie v. Bunch, 891 S.W.2d 822, 824 (Mo. banc 1995), the Missouri Supreme Court held that once an employer has admitted to respondeat superior liability for an employee driver's negligence, it is improper to allow a plaintiff to proceed against the employer on any other theory of imputed liability, such as negligence in employee hiring, retention, or training.