Monday, November 25, 2013

Lawsuit Against a Trucking Company. A First Hand Account. Part 1

I was a manager at a trucking company when a lawsuit landed on my desk. 2 years prior, a group of college kids, traveling between rival schools hit the back of our trailer. The driver was putting on snow chains. The lawsuit, and subsequent deposition, taught me a lot about following procedures and record keeping; specifically the Driver Qualification File.

The lawsuit against the trucking company was 15 years ago.
I have continued my management career in the trucking industry. I have shared the deposition with every new safety manager that I hire. No matter how much experience they have: they always come back wide-eyed.  I want to share the transcripts from the deposition.

Reading these posts will bring the Driver Qualification File to life. You get to see it in action. It is not merely a checklist or a file sitting in a cabinet.

I have disguised the names of companies and individuals. I hope that you learn something. The deposition is long. I will split the submissions into several posts.

Page 1
1.WHEREUPON, the following proceedings were taken
2.pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure.
3. *****
5.having been first duly sworn to state the whole truth,
6.testified as follows:
9.Q:Would you tell us your name and address, please,
11.A: Lawrence— excuse me — Robinson, 12985 Baker Dr.
12.Kansas City, MO
13.Q: Mr. Robinson, I understand you've been elected to serve as a 30(b)(6) witness or a witness 14.that's familiar with and able to testify about certain matters that we have identified that we want to to you about.
16.A: Correct.
18.Q:Have you read or reviewed anything in preparation for today's deposition?
19.A:I've reviewed with Katherine.
20.Q:Well, okay. Tell me what materials you've reviewed.
21.A:The list of questions.
22.Q: Okay. Did you look at any documents or files?
23.A:I looked at the driver qualification file.
24.Q:Is that the same as a personnel file?
25.A:The DOT -- there's two separate files you have to maintain. One's driving — driver qualification 26.and personnel file. They're two separate things. personnel file.
27.Q: Okay. And we asked you to prepare yourself to come here to talk about Mr. Bennington's 28.personnel file. First of all, do you know Mr. Bennington?
29.A:Yes, I do.
30.Q:And how do you know Mr. Bennington?
31.A:He was employed with Sky Ways Transportation, and 11.I was operations manager at the time.
32.Q Is that a company that your family owns?
33.A: Yes.
35.Q:When you say you're operations manager, were you
36..then Mr. Bennington's immediate supervisor?
37.A: Yes.
38.Q: So did you dispatch the vehicles, then?
40.Q: And did you maintain two files with respect to Mr.
41.Bennington, then, that you just talked about, a driver
42..qualification file and a personnel file?
44.Q: And have you provided both of those files to us in
46.A:I don't know which files you have. Personnel file
47.was just payroll records and maintenance, and the driver
48.qualification file is laid out by the federal motor carrier, and it's with respect to his qualifications.
50.Q: By "his," you mean Mr. Bennington's?
51.A: Correct. .
52.Q: Okay. And so as we sit here today, do you know if've provided us with both the driver's qualification file
54.and Mr. Bennington's personnel file?
55.A:I don't know what we're --I looked at the driver
56.qualification file.
57.MS. HARVEY: If I could interject, we have
58.provided both those files, or he gave them to us to give to
60.Q:(BY MR. CHAPMAN) Okay. Well, let's - in my
61.request for production No. 10,I asked you to produce the
62.entire personnel file of Defendant Bennington and — including
63.but not limited to a certain list of things, and what you
64.provided us was identified as being Bates-stamp Nos. CD 20
65.through CD 237, and I'm going to have that marked by the
66.reporter now.
67.(Deposition Exhibit 1 was marked.)
68.Q:Sir, I’m going to hand you what's been marked as
69.Defendants' — excuse me, Plaintiffs Exhibit 1, and can you
70.tell me if that is the personnel file or the driver
71.qualification file?

This is the end of today's deposition. Check out part 2 to continue.

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