Attorneys at Johnson//Becker have responded to an Op-Ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune authored by major figures in the trucking industry.
In their response, attorneys Michael K. Johnson and Jake R. Jagdfeld take issue with the notion that holding brokers accountable for trucking safety will lead to “chaos” in the transportation of goods. Chaos is already present in the system, the attorneys argue, thanks to irresponsible brokers and trucking companies that pursue profit over the goal of roadway safety.
Trucking brokers, who assign loads to trucking companies, are asking to be let off the hook for wrongdoing through legislation that would insulate them from liability when a crash occurs. Johnson and Jagdfeld provide a heartbreaking example of a motorist’s death where, under current law, the broker may be held accountable along with the trucking company and the truck driver.
The case of Andrew Russ, a young father of two killed during his morning commute in 2019, illustrates how truckers can be compelled to drive unsafely by the companies that put them on the road. Russ’ survivors are taking those parties to court, alleging that the driver risked lost pay or termination if he did not meet an “impossible schedule” proposed by the broker and agreed to by the trucking company that employed the driver.