Interesting Truck Insurance Court Cases and more…courtesy of CAB

Last Modified: February 3, 2023

Read the 4 quick summaries here so you’re in the loop of what’s going on, or grab a beverage and click to read the full transportation court cases for interesting stuff on Cargo, Brokerage, Couriers and Temporary Substitute Clause:

A reminder to underwriters that motor carriers are liable for loss or damage to cargo even if the loss occurred in the hands of another carrier.  The Northern District of Illinois held that an originating carrier was liable for the actions of a delivering carrier under the Carmack Amendment.  The Court also held that the Carmack Amendment did not preempt a breach of contact claim against a defendant who might also be liable as a broker.  Both causes of action were permitted to proceed.  (Mitsui Sumitomo v. Wheels MSM Canada, Inc., 2016 WL 6395428)
A default judgment was granted against a motor carrier in a broker-carrier case in the Eastern District of California.  The Court held that the broker was entitled to recover the payment made to the shipper and was also permitted to obtain attorney’s fees under the broker-carrier agreement. (Direct Connect Logistics, Inc. v. Road Kings Trucking, Inc., 2016 WL 6608924)
Whether a courier driver was an employee or an independent contractor of the courier service was held to be a question of fact which precluded summary judgment on the applicability of coverage under the courier services business auto policy for the injuries sustained by plaintiff. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana held that questions remained as to whether the driver’s use of a vehicle in connection with the delivery service business permitted coverage under the policy.  (Bouquet v. Williams, 2016 WL 6350854)
The District Court in Maryland granted judgment to an insurer concluding that the temporary substitute clause under a commercial auto policy did not create coverage when the insured hired another party to perform a job.  Even though a covered auto was out of service, the whole job was outsourced and therefore the vehicle was not a temporary substitute under the direction and control of the insured.  The Court also held that the MCS-90 was inapplicable when the driver could not be considered an insured under the policy. (Titan Indemnity Co v. Gaitan Enterprises, 2016 WL 6680112)


NEED AN EXCUSE TO STAY HOME? – I could not resist putting this in when I found it during my research. When asked to share the most dubious excuses employees have given for calling in sick, employers reported hearing the following real-life examples:
* Employee said the ozone in the air flattened his tires.
* Employee’s pressure cooker had exploded and scared her sister, so she had to stay home.
* Employee had to attend the funeral of his wife’s cousin’s pet because he was an uncle and pallbearer.
* Employee was blocked in by police raiding her home.
* Employee had to testify against a drug dealer and the dealer’s friend mugged him.
* Employee said her roots were showing and she had to keep her hair appointment because she looked like a mess.
* Employee ate cat food instead of tuna and was deathly ill.
* Employee said she wasn’t sick but her llama was.
* Employee had used a hair remover under her arms and had chemical burns as a result. She couldn’t put her arms down by her sides due to that.
* Employee was bowling the game of his life and couldn’t make it to work.
* Employee was experiencing traumatic stress from a large spider found in her home. She had to stay home to deal with the spider.
* Employee said he had better things to do.
* Employee ate too much birthday cake.
* Employee was bitten by a duck
Court Cases and Funnies courtesy of CAB Central Analysis Bureau “Bits & Pieces”…thanks, guys!
Shelly Benisch, CIC, TRS
Commercial Insurance Solutions, Inc.


  • 2002 Founder and CEO of Commercial Insurance Solutions, Inc., Shelly Benisch specializes in providing Commercial Truck Insurance for owner operators and small motor carriers. Both CIS and TRS certified, She also writes a free educational trucking insurance advice blog dedicated to the little guy.

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