Ronald E. Tomasetti, CDS, CDT ::::
Case Synopsis: A tanker delivering airplane fuel at a local airport crashed into an electric baggage cart when the driver made a sudden turn to avoid a worker loading baggage onto the cart. The worker was severely injured when the cart overturned on him. The tanker driver, who was in the US on a work VISA from Argentina, was operating the commercial motor vehicle which was placard (flammable) without a Commercial Driver License (CDL). The employer, ABC Fuel Enterprise, Inc, did not have the vehicle licensed (displaying a plate). The injured worker brought suit claiming the driver was not qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle and the employer was negligent for hiring him.
Expert Analysis: A site inspection was performed, and employer records and deposition testimony were reviewed. Expert analysis demonstrated that the collision occurred on private property. The employer would not be considered a motor carrier for either interstate commerce or intrastate commerce; therefore, not subject to FMCSR (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations). The employer did have a personnel file, but was not required to have a driver qualification file in accordance with FMCSRs. The tanker did not travel on or over any public roadway, the vehicle did not have to be licensed (displaying a license plate) however, the vehicle was registered. The driver did not need a CDL, nor comply with Federal regulations concerning qualifications of drivers, including a background check of former employers.
Result: Case settled in favor of the defense.