Trucking business hit by rising jury verdicts

“The commercial trucking (or carrier) industry is helping drive the overall rate hikes in commercial insurance, according to Chris Mikolay, vice president of national accounts for National Interstate Insurance. … with an average award going from $2.6 million in 2012 to more than $17 million in 2019…. ‘These verdicts come about because of new tactics used by the plaintiffs where they vilify the entire company and then seek punitive damages,’ [attorney Eric] Zalud said. [Kim Palmer, Crain’s Cleveland Business; Mills Hayes, CBS4Local (El Paso, Tex.); Brian Fielkow and Robert Fuentes, FreightWaves two-part article, first and second parts; earlier here, here, here, generally on trucking]


  • Of course, there are two solutions:

    1. A comprehensive national health care system.
    2. Punitive damages are paid to the State, not to individuals (and not to plainti’s attorneys). This will result in smaller damage awards, because there will be little incentive for counsel to go after “bad” actors.

    Wait, you say? national health care? that is socialism. Well, isn’t it better than the current system where companies pay for health care more as a lottery system based upon what a jury had for lunch. Furthermore, the savings on insurance might well make up for extra cost of health care.

    And, you don’t want the money going to the government. Sure thing. But, isn’t it better that the government win the lottery (and, in theory, spend the money for the benefit of all), than individuals doing so?

  • Our local television is full of commercials warning about “reckless”, “negligent” and “dangerous” trucks and trucking companies. Then this “noble” lawyer who will fight for you to get you the money that you “deserve”.

    These commercials are a “double whammy”. They get clients for the Lawyer and they also demonize the trucking companies.