Loose Latch on Semi-Truck Causes Serious Accident

latch on semi-This case involves a car accident with a semi-truck. The plaintiff, a twenty-five-year-old female, was driving home from work in the middle lane of a highway. When she was about a mile away from her exit, a semi-truck passed her in the right lane. After the truck had passed her, she moved over to the right lane in order to get off at her exit. As she moved over, the truck hit a bump on the road and the latch on the liftgate of the truck broke open. This caused the liftgate of the truck to swing open and crates full of fruit to fall on the road. The plaintiff had to swerve off the highway and crashed into the embankment. She totaled her car and suffered a concussion, dislocated shoulder, and had several cuts across her face. Upon review of the trucking company’s records, it was revealed that the latch had come loose on numerous occasions, causing items to fall from the truck.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What are the proper measures to take when a dangerous circumstance, like a loose latch, is recorded?

Expert Witness Response

This circumstance deals with elements of foreseeability, as the latch had a history of problems. Because of this, the company should have taken measures to ensure that the latch was working properly. To verify this, one would need to look at the different steps that the trucking company made. First, the records of the most recent truck inspection have to be analyzed. From there, the recorded repair attempts and what remedial measures were taken (regarding the latch) need to be examined. Lastly, the testing of the latch, and assurances that it was effective for the road would have to be established. If the trucking company did not engage in these practices, they may be liable for allowing the truck back on the road. A full review of the records, both before and after the reported accident, would flesh out the actions, or lack thereof, of the trucking company. I have over thirty years of experience in the trucking industry, and I am very familiar with this type of case.


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