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Freight Brokers and Carrier Selection
Ten years ago I wrote several blog posts about a broker’s responsibility in selecting a carrier. This was a confusing topic back then – and, guess what? It’s still an important and messy issue.
The fact is, in my opinion, FMCSA is not doing their job OR there are not enough protections for brokers when they select a carrier and the carrier then gets into an accident and kills or injures others.
A broker could – theoretically speaking – go into a carrier’s office, scour all the records for days, sit the driver down in a dark room at some remote location under a blinding light and interrogate him for 30 hours without sleep, food or a bathroom AND STILL not be even 99% sure that the driver will not be involved in an accident.
C’mon attorneys – give brokers a break. Or is there too much to gain?
Transportation attorney, Henry Seaton, has stated: “Fit to operate is fit to use”. And I might add that for any carrier that FMCSA deems worthy to enter into interstate commerce should be fit to be chosen by brokers without anyone having recourse to pursue litigation against brokers except for negligence.
A lot, maybe everything, revolves around the issue of “negligence” and this is a topic for another day.
Evidently, however, brokers need to go beyond FMCSA’s safety ratings and the Court’s directive to “use reasonable care” in order to keep out of range of prosecutors who may be seeking deep pockets.
Yes, C.H. Robinson has deep pockets – but why are brokers getting sued for being negligent even while the FMCSA has deemed the carrier fit to use?
In the article below, the plaintiff’s, counsel stated: “the brokerage had a duty to select a competent contractor and alleged that C.H. Robinson knew or should have known about the carrier’s past safety violations.”
There is so much to be said about this statement – again, that’s for another day.
Go ahead, check out this article:
Freight Broker Liability – C.H. Robinson Gets Whacked – Again!