Archive for the ‘Trucking’ Category

Caution: Supervision Required

October 24, 2007

Patterson v. Sacramento City Unified School District (California)
(Truck Driver Student Injured Unloading Bleachers During a Community Service Project; School Owed a Duty to Supervise; Activity Not Inherently Dangerous and Primary Assumption of Risk Doctrine Did Not Apply)

The plaintiff was an adult truck driver training course student. He brought a negligent supervision action against a school district after he was injured while loading bleachers onto a flat-bed trailer as part of an off-campus community service project. The defendant school district filed a motion for summary judgment, which was eventually granted by the trial court. The court ruled, in part, that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the primary assumption of the risk doctrine in that he voluntarily assumed the risks inherent in the activity and the defendant did nothing to increase those risks. The plaintiff appealed.

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Collision Course

July 11, 2007

Schipper v. Dahl Trucking, Inc. (Minnesota-UNPUBLISHED)
(Two Truckers Collide; Waiver and Release Precluded Negligence Claim Against Trucking Company; Issue of Loss of Consortium Claim Remanded; Waiver and Release Protections for Trucking Company Employee Unclear)

The plaintiff Doug Schipper and his wife were residents of Minnesota. Schipper owned a company called Midwest Cargo, which owned and operated a truck. Schipper entered into a written agreement with defendant Dahl Trucking, Inc., an Iowa corporation headquartered in Minnesota, to provide freight transportation. The contract contains the following provision:

9. THE CONTRACTOR EXPRESSLY WAIVES ANY CLAIM, DEMAND, ACTION, OR CAUSE OF ACTION AGAINST CARRIER AS A RESULT OF THE DEATH OR INJURY OF CONTRACTOR OR CONTRACTOR’S EMPLOYEES IN CONNECTION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF CONTRACTOR OR THE CONTRACT AND FURTHER AGREES TO HOLD CARRIER HARMLESS AND INDEMNIFY CARRIER FORM [sic] SUCH CLAIMS.

The contract also required Schipper to maintain business-liability insurance, and it provided that it “shall be governed by the Laws of the State of Iowa and Minnesota, both as to interpretation and performance.”

Thereafter, Schipper and defendant Chad Jongbloedt, an employee of Dahl Trucking who was a resident of Minnesota, were both hauling freight, when they were involved in a collision. Schipper was injured and filed a lawsuit against Dahl and Jongbloedt, alleging negligence. Schipper’s wife also filed a claim for loss of consortium. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment, and the district court granted defendants’ motion based upon the waiver and release provisions. The plaintiffs appealed.

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