Previously, we discussed a Tennessee truck driver that was fired after refusing to drive fatigued and over his allowed hours. His insistence that operating his rig while tired could cause a commercial truck accident, lost him his job, but a jury awarded him $180,000 for his illegal termination. It would seem that despite that large settlement Tennessee trucking companies still haven’t realized that they can’t fire drivers for wanting to drive safely.
Heartland Transportation is based in Andersonville, TN and is contracted by the US Postal Service to carry large loads of mail. In August 2009 one of their Knoxville drivers was asked to make a northern run. He noticed that one of his trailer’s lights didn’t work and refused to make the run until the light was fixed. This wasn’t the first safety concern the truck driver had noticed, and eventually he told his bosses he was no longer going to drive trucks with malfunctioning equipment.
When the Knoxville driver returned from another delivery, he found that he was no longer on the schedule and was told he’d been fired. The man filed a complaint with the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), since his firing was in violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act which makes it illegal to retaliate against workers who raise safety concerns.
After a three year battle the wrongly fired driver has been awarded $31,200 including $9,895 in back pay. Not surprisingly the trucking company is still not admitting any wrongdoing but did agree to post notices reminding drivers to always raise safety concerns and would erase any mention of the firing from the man’s records.
Knoxville Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers
The blatant disregard for safety by trucking companies are one of the main causes of Knoxville trucking accidents. Truck companies are constantly pushing drivers to make deliveries faster and faster, and this means working long hours and with poorly maintained 18-wheelers.
So if you’ve been hurt in a Knoxville truck accident, chances are big truck companies may be at fault, and you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The Knoxville truck accident lawyers at the McMahan Law Firm have years of experience fighting insurance companies for people in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Dunlap, Rossville, Winchester, and throughout southeastern Tennessee.
Let the McMahan Law Firm fight to get you the money you deserve after your injury accident. Contact them today and let them get started on your Knoxville commercial truck accident claim with a free case evaluation.
Source. KnoxNews.com, ‘http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jul/02/whistleblower-wins-30k-in-trucking-company/?partner=yahoo_feeds,’ Matt Lakin, July 2, 2012.
Source. WDEF.com, ‘http://www.wdef.com/news/state/story/Knoxville-firm-to-pay-settlement-to-whistleblower/u7yEgHilSEybE4xGmnA_aw.cspx,’ July 2, 2012.