Transportation Annual Year in Review
Once again our Transportation Team highlights relevant cases in transportation law from 2015 with more than 28 stories and relevant case links.
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- The ISO Motor Carrier Form
The ISO motor carrier form was unveiled in 1993, although it did not get much traction in the industry until ISO announced in 2009 that it would no longer support its truckers form. Much of the case law in the succeeding years, though, has continued to involve the truckers form and its equivalents, or those sections of the motor carrier form which are not markedly different from parallel provisions in the truckers form. This year’s summary begins with two decisions which wrestled with terms that are unique to the motor carrier form. If these cases are typical, the motor carrier form might not be as easy to apply as has been advertised – one case was won through clever lawyering and the other appears to have been wrongly decided or at least wrongly reasoned.
The structure of Great West Casualty Co. v. National Casualty Co., 53 F. Supp 3d 1154 (D.N.D. 2014), aff’d 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21129 (12/7/15) is familiar enough – it was a dispute between the non-trucking insurer (Great West here) whose insured, Steven Heinis, had leased his rig (both tractor and trailer) to a motor carrier (National Casualty’s named insured Avery Enterprises). Under the terms of the lease, Heinis agreed to maintain the equipment and keep the rig in compliance with USDOT regulatory standards. Heinis was responsible for the cost of repairs, maintenance and fuel. Days before the accident, Heinis, who hauled wastewater from fracking sites, had noticed a leak in the trailer. Heinis brought the rig to Avery’s own repair shop (he could have selected any shop), backed the trailer into the shop and detached the tractor (as he recalled), and Avery’s mechanics started to work on a crack in the trailer’s loading valve. Jesse Miller was welding the pipe when an explosion occurred, causing Miller to suffer significant bodily injury. He recovered workers’ compensation benefits, but also filed a lawsuit against Heinis for negligence. Suing his employer Avery was, of course, not an option...(more)
This is just one of the topics covered in this year's Annual Review. Click here to read the full newsletter.