This case involves a vehicle collision that occurred when the driver of a large rig hauling 2 overloaded trailers of freight lost control of the vehicle causing it to roll. The driver and the passenger were both killed in the incident. The truck, which allegedly had brakes that were in poor condition, was overloaded by approximately 13,000 pounds. The freight company brokered the haul with the trucking company directly. An expert freight broker was sought to speak to the duty of the broker to ensure that the trucks they are hiring are in working condition and not overloaded.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please describe your experience in trucking and/or freight brokering.
- 2. What duty does a truck/freight broker have to ensure that the trucks being used are in working condition?
- 3. What duty does a truck/freight broker have to ensure that the trucks being used are not overloaded?
Expert Witness Response E-008790
The broker can do his best to hire a responsible motor carrier by checking the background of the motor carrier, etc. But ultimately it is the responsibility of the motor carrier and driver to make sure all aspects of their business and equipment are up to specifications and in safe working order. Matters concerning insurance, registration, vehicle inspection(s), driver(s), etc. are all the responsibility of the motor carrier, and ultimately the driver. The driver should have never left with the equipment in unsatisfactory condition, especially with the knowledge that the load was overweight. I reviewed a similar case in which a broker hired an unsatisfactory motor carrier and an unsafe driver that resulted in several deaths. The broker had limited to no responsibility in the accident.