Chills of fear are rippling through the trucking industry this October, and not because of Halloween. They’ve struck…again!
540 truckers plus 25 staff members of the country’s second leading RV and Motorhome hauler in North America, are officially out of work. The exclusive hauler for the RV chain Camping World, who reportedly drove 25 million miles in 2018, has been forced to close its doors for good, as of November 1, 2019.
Cause of death?
Nuclear verdicts are an ever-rising phenomenon that has put the trucking industry in a ‘rear naked choke’ – forcing even heavy-weight champion fleet companies to ‘tap out.’
Nuclear verdicts have become an industry norm. They happen when courtroom juries rule in favor of plaintiffs and charge trucking company defendants to pay out $10M+ awards.
You see, CWRV Transport was recently the defendant in a civil lawsuit, wrongful death case where a husband and wife were killed by an independent commercial driver who fell asleep at the wheel back in 2017. This driver was a CWRV contractor. The victim couple were survived by two college-aged children who were awarded $26.6 million in restitution.
Let’s start by addressing the underlying argument for these multi-million-dollar bombs that blow trucking companies out of the water. Wrongful death and injuries of drivers at the hand of truckers who cause accidents devastating.
Our hearts, prayers and thoughts are with all the families and friends of the victims of road accidents. I can’t imagine what life is like for the children of victims who were killed in car crashes. Financial restitution is certainly in order to provide for the present and future needs of the surviving loved ones.
But nuclear verdicts do far more than provide full and fair restitution for surviving dependents. They practically declare ‘holy war’ on the trucking industry at large by bringing missiles to fist-fights. Law firms obliterate trucking companies involved in accidents to do more than make restitution, but to pillage the trucking industry for private jet, yacht, and mansion money.
They drop verdicts so deadly on these trucking companies that the shockwaves vibrate through the heart & soul of the entire industry.
In fact, just a few months ago, a jury took just 45 minutes to rule against a Georgia steel hauler in Columbus, GA for $280 million. And back in 2018, a jury levied a $101 million award to be paid by an oil service company in Texas.
CFF President, Matt Manero, delivers his video response to these Nuclear Verdicts. Is it time truckers stop hauling freight? Watch this week’s Monday Transportation in Minutes.
The rising trend of high-8 and 9-figure restitution awards in courtroom verdicts are just another one of the factors that have left the trucking industry on its knees.
Several Insurance carriers, including Zurich International and AIG have pulled out of not just covering the fleets that lost in courtroom car crash cases, but out of the trucking industry altogether. Those that stay, have raised rates and are strict on truckers.
But there’s more that has made 2019 look like a warzone.
Low spot rates, environmental regulations, lack of demand in this year’s industry recession, increased government regulations, Amazon network restructuring and overall economic mayhem have this year’s environment feel like trying to survive on planet Venus.
We’re Not Gonna Take It
Look. If we don’t do something, the regulators and the lawyers and juries are going to keep kicking America’s trucking industry in the teeth until the economy implodes. Somehow, they’ve got the idea that this industry is disconnected from the rest of the American economy.
If truckers can’t profitably do their job, Americans don’t get the furniture, the drugs, the basic goods and products we all need to survive. Would judges, juries and plaintiffs think differently about trucking companies if the industry went on a 30-day strike to combat nuclear verdicts? I bet they would.
If truckers stopped hauling freight for 30-days, they’d get the attention and maybe regain the respect and appreciation from those that have villainized the industry.
You have to speak up and remind the public that you’re the ones that deliver most of America’s goods. Reach out to your local legislators and voice your opinions.
Again, plaintiffs deserve full and fair compensation for property damage, injuries and death that occur in catastrophic traffic accidents. But when 8 and 9-figure verdicts are dropped…come on man. That’s not about the affected families anymore – that’s about apex predatory fat-cat law-firms hunting down and pillaging an industry that’s become an easy target.
About Commercial Fleet Financing, Inc.:
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