Don't Look Back: Something Might Be Gaining on You

5/7/2010 -

Don’t Look Back: Something Might Be Gaining on You - A Follow Up

Following up on the presentations on plaintiff’s lawyers’ groups that are targeting the trucking industry, we continue to monitor and report their activity. The most blatant group, APITLA, the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, (www.apitlamerica. com), appears to be growing. Their website has added lawyer members.

APITLA continues to “educate” lawyers with presentations. In fact, over the last year, APITLA, in conjunction with Westlaw, has broadcast “Trucking Tuesday” webinars. These presentations are limited to those who pledge they are not employed by or retained by trucking companies and insurers. Most recently, on January 12, 2010, one of the APITLA lawyer-members presented; “Dealing with Daubert in Trucking Cases”. Other titles of presentations include: “The Black Box-What is it Telling us?”; “Who Really Owns the Trucking Company: Tracing these Small Companies to the Hidden Deep Pockets”; “Deposing the Truck Driver and Other Personnel”; and “Advanced Combat Training: How to Win Big in the Tough Trucking Case”.

The attack on the trucking industry does not end there. Recently, in The American Trial  Lawyer, Dan Ransdell published an article entitled, “What to Do in Every (Fatigued) Trucking Case.” Mr. Ransdell, who is the founder of the APITLA, sets out his “Ten Commandments” in every (fatigue) trucking case. He instructs, among other things, To ASSUME:

•           in EVERY truck crash, the driver was fatigued and operating in violation of the hours of service      rules;

•           the trucking company, the driver and the insurance company “will try to, or have already, altered or destroyed some or all the evidence adverse to them”;

•           the driver’s log books are false, and there are two sets;

•           the driver’s knowing violations of the FMCSA were the results of “pressure for profit” put on the driver by the trucking company to get an on time delivery;

•           the driver’s qualification file contains false information;

•           hours of service rules are intentionally violated for greedy, profit driven motives;

•           there are a multitude of inexpensive technologies and safety devices, that would, if implemented, reduce crashes, but the trucking company made a conscious choice not to purchase them because they just didn’t care and safety is not a priority;

•           these cases have huge punitive damage potential and the insurance company will lie to you about the amount of insurance coverage that exists and both they and the trucking company will lie in an attempt to hide who, how many, and which corporations and persons actually own the trucking company.

 Finally, once the bait is before the plaintiff’s lawyer, Ramsdell tries to set the hook by asking the reader to consider joining the hundreds of lawyers nationwide who are members of the APITLA. If you are interested, please contact me, so I may forward you more information.

The lessons we learn from this propaganda is to be ever vigilant and on guard to these attitudes and tactics. Also, avail yourself of a network of your own, like the transportation lawyers of ALFA International.

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