A jury in a Dallas County truck wreck case delivered a whopping $37,900,000.00 verdict on July 18, 2016, for a wrongful death action resulting from a wreck on an icy Texas highway in February of 2015. The case was originally brought by the decedent's two children, with his wife and mother adding themselves as Intervenors to the case. Both the truck driver and his employer, O'Reilly Auto Parts (O'Reilly), were found liable for negligence and gross negligence.
Last year the Texas Supreme Court decided whether an employer can be liable for negligent hiring and supervision despite no employee causing any harm to a Plaintiff. Wansey v. Hole, 379 S.W.3d 246 (Tex. 2012).
The rise of intermediaries in the post-deregulation trucking world has led to more efficient matchmaking between shippers and motor carriers. However, these intermediaries--colloquially known as "freight brokers"--have increasingly found themselves the target of litigation. Under common law respondeat superior (the doctrine of an employer's liability for the actions of their employees), only the motor carrier would be liable to the public for injuries sustained by their employee's operation of the truck.