For the first time in 15 years, an annual survey of commercial transportation carriers shows concerns about how insurance costs and the lack of tort reform are affecting the industry, despite the reduction in overall traffic numbers due to COVID-19.
According to the recently published American Transportation Research Institute’s assessment of the nation’s Top 10 Trucking Industry Issues, the growth of so-called “nuclear” verdicts is readily apparent in this year’s list of concerns, ranking ahead of perennial issues that include transportation infrastructure and driver distractions.
“High-dollar verdicts are on the rise because the plaintiff’s bar has become more cohesive in sharing information and working together on how to try transportation cases in the most inflammatory way,” said William H. Chamblee of Chamblee Ryan in Dallas, who regularly defends motor carriers in litigation.
“As a result, the cost of obtaining these policies keeps increasing, while the possibility of obtaining meaningful tort reform in the transportation field will be difficult, requiring reform at the federal level to be effective. Medical malpractice tort reform can occur at the state level, but transportation tort reform cannot.”
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