Legal Memorandum: Damages for Negligent Hiring and Supervision

Issue: Whether a trucking company is directly liable for its willful and wanton conduct in hiring and supervising of a trucker under Arkansas law.

Area of Law: Employee Law, Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Negligent hiring, supervision and retention claims; Punitive damages
Jurisdiction: Arkansas
Cited Cases: 525 F. Supp. 1224; 435 S.E.2d 54; 405 S.E.2d 914
Cited Statutes: 49 C.F.R. Parts 383 through 399; 49 C.F.R. § 391.31 (1999); 49 C.F.R. §§ 391.21, .27 (1999); 49 C.F.R. § 395.8 (1999)
Date: 08/01/2000

The federal DOT rules and safety regulations applicable to interstate and intrastate operation of motor vehicles found at 49 C.F.R. Parts 383 through 399 have been expressly adopted by the Arkansas State Highway Commission.  (Case No. R-144, Report and Order of the Arkansas State Highway Commission, In re Rules and Regulations Prescribed as General Safety Requirements for Motor Carriers, of 8/6/97.)

The regulations require a pre-employment road test and issuance of a “certificate of driver’s road test.”  49 C.F.R. § 391.31 (1999).

An application for employment as a commercial driver includes some standard information as well as the following specific information:

·          the applicant’s experience in operating motor vehicles, including the type of equipment operated;

·          the issuing state, number, and expiration date of each unexpired motor vehicle operator’s license or permit issued to the applicant;

·          a list of every violation of motor vehicle laws or ordinances of which the applicant was convicted or forfeited bond or collateral during the previous three years;

·          a statement setting forth in detail the facts and circumstances of any denial, revocation or suspension of any license, permit or privilege to operate a motor vehicle issued to the applicant, or a statement that no such denial, revocation or suspension has occurred; and

·          a list of the names and addresses of the applicant’s employers during the last ten years.

49 C.F.R. §§ 391.21, .27 (1999).  The employer must obtain from the State a record […]

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