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Supreme Court refuses to hear truck drivers' lawsuit

Florida motorists may be interested to learn that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a class-action lawsuit on June 19 brought by six truck drivers against the U.S. Department of Transportation. The truck drivers had alleged that the pre-employment reports the DOT distributed to carriers made it more difficult for them to find work as it disparaged their reputations. The truck drivers were supported by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

In the 2014 lawsuit, the drivers argued that the pre-employment reports were only meant to disclose reports about trucking accidents. To the extent that the reports documented minor infractions, they violated certain provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974. DOT denied that the pre-employment reports contained disparaging information or too much information.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit ruled in favor of the DOT in October 2016 and denied a rehearing of the case in December. With the refusal to hear the case from the U.S. Supreme Court on June 19, the lawsuit is effectively ended.

When the negligence of a truck driver is the cause of an accident, occupants of other vehicles who are injured could require extensive medical treatment. If there is evidence that the company knew that the truck driver had a history of unsafe driving, the injured person could also potentially argue that the company was negligent when the truck driver was hired. A personal injury attorney could provide assistance in seeking compensation from the responsible parties for the losses that the victim has sustained.

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