The plaintiff, a college student, alleged that the tractor-trailer driver violated federal motor carrier safety rules by failing to take the required off-duty time after working a 24-hour shift as a county firefighter. The case is Lymon v. Bohn. The 19 year old (college student) was driving through an intersection and was struck by a Transport truck driver. Her injuries included brain damage that resulted in a minor speech disorder, bowel and bladder incontinence, cognitive defects, a single fracture, and seizures. The injured plaintiff now requires speech and physical therapy, 24 – hour care for the remainder of her life, and is unable to work. The college student and her mother sued the driver as well as his company.
The plaintiff’s mother alleged that the trucking company did not provide any training in safety or defensive driving and did not properly enforce safety rules pertaining to hours and rest periods. The plaintiff alleged that the truck driver began his shift without properly preparing in taking the mandatory 10 hours of off – duty time after working a 24 – hour shift as a battalion chief at the county firehouse. The defendants proposed that even though the truck driver had been off duty at the fire station, no fire emergencies took place therefore he received the proper amount of rest, ruling out fatigue as a factor in the crash. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff and the defendants have appealed this ruling.
Doug Landau has tried cases involving drivers who drove more than the allowable number of hours without the proper rest periods or breaks. There are even jury instructions for how many hours a motorist is allowed to drive at one time. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car, truck or bike crash with an exhausted, unsafe or impaired truck driver, e-mail us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd., or call 703-796-9555 today.