Showing 8 posts in Transportation.

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Medical Billing Affidavit Procedure

Chapter 18 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code (“CPRC”), which creates a procedure for tort plaintiffs to prove past medical expenses by affidavit and without the need for live expert testimony at trial, has long been the focus of controversy as to its scope and effect. The statute, which the Texas Supreme Court describes as “a purely procedural statute that is designed to streamline proof of the reasonableness and necessity of medical expenses.”[1], has been turned into a weapon against defendants, with many intermediate courts holding that a defendant’s failure to satisfy the statute’s requirements for a counter-affidavit meant that a defendant could not contest the cost or necessity of treatment at trial. On May 7, 2021, the Texas Supreme Court put an end to this extreme court-created penalty for non-compliance with the statute’s procedural details. More »

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 »

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 »

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

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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

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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 »

I Know Where You Were Last Summer: Using More Than Just Facebook to Investigate Pending Claims

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In other articles, we have discussed the importance of obtaining social media data in pre-suit investigations and how to conduct social media discovery in pending litigation. As we discussed there, photographs, video and the like information can all be used for evidentiary purposes to demonstrate state of mind, the existence of mental or cognitive disabilities (or the lack thereof) and the level of activity enjoyed by a litigant.  In those articles, we have focused primarily on recovering such evidence from Facebook since it is one of the most prevalently used social media platforms and permits users to download (at least arguably) the most helpful data. However, Facebook is not the only source of social media data and any thorough investigation should also involve identifying and requesting photographs, video, status updates or comments from other social media platforms. More »

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