In the aftermath of California’s aggressive attempts to crack down on the “gig” economy, other states have moved as well, though often in different directions. While many states have moved to pass laws specifically designed to protect the status of “gig” workers, New Jersey is in the process of passing its own attempt to regulate these workers. Indeed, the proposed New Jersey legislation would go so far that it would classify almost all workers in the state as employees and make it incredibly difficult for someone to claim independent contractor status.
It was expected that California’s Assembly Bill 5 passed late last year would spawn tons of litigation. The law radically changed how workers from uber drivers to television show writers were classified. Those negatively impacted by the law aggressively lobbied for changes and exemptions while planning litigation should their lobbying efforts fail.
In most civil cases, courts are careful to ensure that plaintiffs cannot benefit from a double recovery. That is to say, plaintiffs do not get to recover for the same injury twice. The purpose of a negligence lawsuit is to restore a person to the state they were in prior to suffering their injuries by compensating them for those injuries. This is one reason why insurance companies retain rights of subrogation.
Emissions are a big issue in the transportation industry. As environmental regulators seek to drive down total emissions due to concerns over climate change and air quality, the industry must respond with improved engineering and try to balance the various costs of increased regulation. It is highly unlikely that the scope of these regulations or their costs will decrease over the coming decade.
As more and more states legalize marijuana use for recreational and medicinal purposes, employers face a significant conundrum. Employers have to decide how to treat positive marijuana tests within their business. For those employers in safety-sensitive fields, ensuring that employees can pass drug tests is necessary for continued operations and limiting liability.
Hours of service requirements are a big deal for trucking companies. The penalties for violations can be significant – up to $16,000 per violation. Violations will also impact a trucking company’s safety score, impacting their insurance premiums. At the same time, compliance with hours of service requirements involves significant office work and record-keeping, which also cost money.
Action over cases have become increasingly common over the past two decades. These cases involve employees collecting worker’s compensation from their employer, and then suing a third party that caused their injuries through negligence who had a contractual indemnity clause with the employer that covers the lawsuit. The prevalence of these suits have led insurance companies to take action by issuing new endorsements aimed at protecting themselves.
Pollution coverage in commercial automobile coverage can be a tricky subject. The standard commercial automobile policy excludes coverage for pollution events unless the pollution stems from a substance necessary to the operation of the vehicle; this means substances like gasoline or brake fluid. There are three ways companies get around this exclusion – through the MCS-90, through transportation pollution liability coverage through a stand-alone policy or as part of a contractor’s pollution liability policy, or through the CA-9948 endorsement.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration uses Compliance Safety and Accountability scores to assess the safety of trucking companies and target the most at-risk companies for additional interventions. CSA scores are composed of seven BASICs (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category) which attempt to use data available to the FMCSA to pinpoint trucking companies with inadequate safety procedures. While most BASIC information is available to the public, the FMCSA does not make the crash indicator BASIC available to the public. However, the information is available to the trucking company itself and enforcement personnel.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration uses Compliance Safety and Accountability scores to assess the safety of trucking companies and target the most at-risk companies for additional interventions. The CSA scores are composed of seven BASICs (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category) which attempt to use data available to the FMCSA to pinpoint trucking companies with inadequate safety procedures.