Trucking Company Can’t Be Sued For Trucker’s Death, Says Court

Trucking Company Can’t Be Sued For Trucker’s Death, Says Court

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled in a lawsuit that the family of a deceased truck driver can’t sue the trucking company where he was employed. The driver died after being coerced by the company to overwork, resulting in fatigue. He died when he fell asleep behind the wheel and ran into the accident.

The defendant in the case has been identified as Mo-Vac Services Co. Inc. Fabian Escobedo was a driver with the company. He was riding a company truck to a location in Dilley Texas when he fell asleep. The truck ran off the road, struck a pole and overturned. Escobedo was trapped inside the vehicle and died due to asphyxiation. The incident occurred several years ago on May 30, 2012.

A lawsuit had been brought against the company by Escobedo’s parents and sister. However, the Texas Supreme Court has now ruled that Mo-Vac is protected from the lawsuit due to the provisions of the Texas workers compensation system. The workers’ comp insurance effectively shields employees from being sued by workers who may become injured or die during work.

A key exemption to this protection is when the deliberate and intentional negligence of the employer can be proved. This is what the present lawsuit hinged upon. Plaintiffs argued that Mo-Vac was deliberately violating Hours of Service requirements by asking the drivers to falsify their log books while working longer hours. This was testified by several co-workers of Escobedo who also appeared in the court.

However, Texas Supreme Court ruled that despite substantial evidence of Mo-Vac violating Hours of Service requirements, it can’t be shown that this violation directly led to the driver’s death. For this reason, the Court has also refused to award any exemplary damages to the survivors of Escobedo, ruling that the family is entitled only to workers’ compensation benefits. If you are injured at work, you should contact our Beaumont workers compensation attorneys.

Source: https://cdllife.com/2020/court-family-cant-sue-over-truckers-death-due-to-fatigue-after-being-forced-to-work-17-hour-days/

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