So who’s to blame for this?
So who’s to blame for this?
Mr Jetton as an “irresponsible sub-contractor”.
In this case, solely the trucker. Other states may (I pray) vary.
The truth is that tort laws are a mess everywhere. As are the civil and appellatt courts.
Oh, and aren’t you glad Mexican rigs aren’t allowed to freely roam the country…yet!
Vienna sausage can as a gas cap, first clue. Arkansas second clue, independent contractor, third clue, conclusion it was your fault you bad indie, you can’t expect us to be liable for your death, sure the equipment was not maintained properly, and sure the brakes might have been bad, but you are an independent contractor and you want us to take responsibility for your issues, see you in court, WE WIN.
Other states in civil suits have held companies liable for damages of their subcontractors in cases of severe injury or death. Construction contractors are insured specifically for just such events. The prime contractors in Boston’s “Big Dig” have had to pay out huge settlements, as have subcontractors.
Stae’s vary. In this case I personally think it’s a travesty that the company was absolved of liability.
A work in progress:
To the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies theme
Come and listen to a story ‘bout a man B.J.
Old fool should been sittin’ in a rocking chair all day,
Then one day as his fuel tank fumes they spewed,
His junk brakes went out and he killed some poor dude.
Manslaughter that is
Well the first thing you know in the court they had their day.
Kinfolk said “somebody’s gotta pay”
Elected judges, no doubt.
I wonder why they are going after the company that contracted this driver. Are they doing it because the driver’s pockets weren’t deep enough? In truck driving school they pounded it into us that the driver is responsible for inspecting the rig and making sure it is safe, even if the driver is a company employee. If the company doesn’t own the rig, it isn’t really practical to expect them to inspect it.
One of the cool things about being a contractor is that you are your own boss, with all the benefits and drawbacks it entails.
When you lose someone in a preventable accident, it is natural to want to spread the blame around, but sometimes, someone has to say “enough is enough.” It’s kind of like blaming Obama for “being associated” with William Ayers. His association with William Ayers was that they served on the same committee. Suddenly, Palin was going around saying Obama “palled around with” Ayers. Guilt by association shouldn’t be a reason to blame someone.
Why would a reputable company want a contractor who was a “an unlicensed, uncertified, one-armed octogenarian truck driver whose truck was in an obvious state of disrepair” working for them anyhow? Greed I suppose. To me that implies negligence enough.
That’s something I didn’t think about.
Even if the man was a contractor, I believe the company has a legal obligation to make sure the driver had a valid license and current certification. They definitely dropped the ball in this respect and should be liable for it. Making sure your contractors are licensed and certified should be a minimum standard.