Photo of Litigation Blog Eric P. Conn econn@smsm.com
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Eric P. Conn is a shareholder in Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney's Detroit office. Mr. Conn concentrates his practice in employment and labor law, transportation …

Showing 12 posts by Eric P. Conn.

COVID Delivers Fraud to the Trucking Industry

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The trucking industry and its insurers were already vulnerable to predatory schemes in a pre-COVID-19 society. The current economic uncertainty and anxiety caused by the virus is unfortunately exacerbating that problem.

Last month, the Justice Department issued new indictments against several individuals in Louisiana, alleging a conspiracy to defraud the trucking industry. The defendants allegedly staged accidents in order to recover money from the trucking company’s carrier. That one case has now led to the indictment of a staggering number of 28 individuals who defrauded insurance companies out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. More »

Michigan Governor Signs Executive Order Cutting Red Tape for Motor Carriers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order on April 8, 2020, related to the COVID-19 (or “coronavirus”) pandemic to relax transportation regulations. The Order provides that certain requirements administered by the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) are temporarily suspended and must not be enforced for motor carriers providing “critical assistance related to the COVID-19 pandemic during the declared states of emergency and disaster.” This includes: More »

New Michigan DIFS Order Raises More Questions for Auto Insurers

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On September 20, 2019, the Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services of Michigan (“the Department”) issued order number 19-048-M, which has a direct impact on the ability of automobile insurers to implement the recent Michigan No-Fault Reform Act.  Per the Act, most provisions were effective June 11, 2019, with a limited number not taking effect until July 2020.  As would typically be the case, on June 11, 2019, insurers began implementing the new provisions of the No-Fault Act. More »

Proposed Hours of Service Rules: Balancing Safety and Economy

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, citing Congressional and public requests for review of the hours of service regulations, has recently proposed the following changes: More »

Five Words & Phrases Defense Attorneys Should be Mindful of in Trucking Litigation

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Many Americans can name one, two or even more Plaintiff personal injury attorneys in their area. This is no doubt due to the relentless onslaught of billboards, radio, and television ads seducing clients hurt by big bad trucking companies to contact them with promises of a big pay day down the road. Commercial motor vehicle traffic accidents are likewise seen as a payday for Plaintiff attorneys as well. This is because commercial motor vehicle traffic accidents are some of the most difficult cases to defend. When a Plaintiff’s attorney goes to trial against a trucking company, he is not just putting the trucking company named in the complaint on trial, he is putting the whole trucking industry on trial, and it is easy for them to do so due to the misused, misconstrued, and ambiguous language oftentimes associated with the trucking industry. This imprecise usage of language puts attorneys who defend trucking litigation at a clear disadvantage. To achieve equal footing, attorneys who defend commercial trucking clients should identify certain words and phrases that retort a Plaintiff’s theme that improperly places the entire transportation industry on trial. More »

Michigan No-Fault Reform Update

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As an update on the changes promised by both political parties in Michigan, this morning the Michigan Senate passed Senate Bill 1, which would significantly alter the Michigan No-Fault Act.  A comprehensive review of the bill is being performed by Segal McCambridge attorneys and we will have updates throughout the coming weeks as it pertains to common problems that are encountered by insurers.  More »

Driver Fatigue: A Leading Cause of Accidents and Death in the Transportation Industry

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Quite often, the news portrays drunk driving as the main culprit of accidents resulting in serious injury, or even death. However, drowsiness and fatigued drivers make up a substantial chunk of injuries resulting from accidents on a yearly basis.

According to a recent review of the serious nature of driver fatigue, anywhere from 100,000 to 328,000 accidents per year are caused by tired drivers. Of those accidents, approximately 6,400 people die annually from an accident caused by a fatigued driver. More »

TRANSPORTATION LAW CLIENT ALERT: City of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s Lawsuit Challenging the Michigan No-Fault Act’s Constitutionality Gains Traction

As many are aware, City of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, along with several other handpicked plaintiffs, filed suit challenging the constitutionality of Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance Act. The lawsuit is premised on Mayor Duggan’s belief that the No-Fault Act violates procedural and substantive due process under both the Michigan and United States Constitution. No-Fault insurance is mandatory for the lawful registration and operation of a motor vehicle and the Plaintiffs believe they possess a constitutional right to fair, equitable, and reasonable insurance premiums, which they allege are not currently available in the City of Detroit. More »

TRANSPORTATION LAW CLIENT ALERT: The Supreme Court’s Decision in New Prime v. Oliveira

Transportation companies frequently rely on independent contractor agreements with owner-operators to conduct many essential logistics operations. “Owner-operators” are self-employed and independently contract with large companies to haul goods across the country. This relationship can produce disputes between the owner-operator and transportation company. For example, when a load is not delivered on time or goods are damaged in the delivery process, transportation companies may seek to hold the owner-operator liable. In anticipation of these disputes, owner-operators almost routinely sign arbitration agreements as a part of their independent contractor agreements with transportation companies. However, when the issues between transportation companies and owner-operators pertain to wage and hour claims or other employment concerns, the recent Supreme Court decision in New Prime v Oliveira may have them changing course. More »

EMPLOYMENT LAW CLIENT ALERT: Tenth Circuit Rules Failure to File Discrimination Claim with EEOC No Longer Jurisdictional Bar

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In a surprising decision overturning 40 years of precedent, the Tenth Circuit recently ruled that a plaintiff’s failure to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) was not a jurisdictional bar to a federal court adjudicating an employment discrimination claim. Lincoln v BNSF Railway Company, --- F3d --- (10th Cir. August 17, 2018). More »

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