When Should A Trucking Company’s Owner Be Held Accountable For An Accident?

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In July, the owner of a Thunder Bay, Ontario trucking company owner Ian Fummerton pled guilty of being a party to dangerous driving. He was sentenced to six months in jail in connection with a 2014 collision that left an off-duty police officer dead. During the trial, it was found that he knowingly permitted employees of his company, ABI Trucking, to ignore provincial regulations around the maximum and minimum hours a driver was allowed to work without a break, as well as the minimum number of hours they must rest before resuming a drive.

It’s a story that’s sadly familiar throughout North America – really, throughout the world. A trucking company’s owner, intent on cutting costs and increasing revenue, start breaking rules. They willfully ignore laws and regulations. And as a result of their negligence, someone gets hurt.

Or in this case, killed.

Unfortunately, for every man like Fummerton, there’s another who gets away with his practices. For every case where a trucking company owner is prosecuted, there’s another where the owner manages to cut corners without anyone being the wiser. The only difference between the two is that one was unlucky enough to get caught.

“It is necessary to make it clear to all persons in Mr. Fummerton’s position that they have a serious obligation to put the safety of their drivers and the public before their economic interests,” wrote Justice Annalisa Rasaiah, who handed down Fummerton’s sentence. “It needs to be made clear to persons such as Mr. Fummerton that calculated non-compliance that can lead to terrible consequences for innocent users of the highways will not be tolerated.”

The problem is that people like Fummerton believe they can get away with non-compliance – and in many cases, they’re right. When an accident involving a transport truck occurs, it isn’t always immediately apparent who is responsible. In some cases, the blame lies solely with the driver. In others, it’s a dispatcher or a mechanic. The only way to know for sure is through an investigation – one which will likely result in a lengthy trial, to boot.

The best thing you can do when you’re a victim is seeking a law firm that will adequately represent you. A firm that will keep your best interests at heart, and ensure that if there’s any malpractice on the part of the trucking company, they’ll be held accountable. A firm like Bormaster Law.

Whether it’s the owner to blame or someone else, we can help. We have a long history of working against corrupt trucking companies and a long history of helping the victims of accidents that resulted from ignorance or negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation, and see what we can do to help you take your life back.