Large court verdicts against trucking fleets are increasing dramatically in both the number and size of awards, creating a “stifling impact” on motor carriers and industry stakeholders, according to The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).
ATRI’s research is partially based on a newly created trucking litigation database that provides information on 600 cases between 2006 and 2019. In the first five years of the data, there were 26 cases over $1 million, and in the last five years of the data, there were nearly 300 such cases.
The database also shows that from 2010 to 2018, the size of verdict awards grew 51.7% annually at the same time that standard inflation grew 1.7% and healthcare costs grew 2.9%. The report, “Understanding the Impact of Nuclear Verdicts on the Trucking Industry,” is available for download on ATRI’s website.
ATRI created the database in conjunction with its announcement in May of its 2020 “top research priorities” as identified by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee. At the time, ATRI said its first priority was to study the impact of small settlements on the trucking industry as a follow-on to its work on so-called “nuclear verdicts.” That study was intended to focus on legal settlements of less than $1 million, including their frequency, fleet responses, and the consideration of verdicts versus settlements.
The group’s other four “top research priorities” include:
Today #ATRI released comprehensive research that confirms that large verdicts against #trucking fleets are increasing dramatically in number and in size of awards. Download this research from ATRI's website now! #TruckingResearch— ATRI (@Truck_Research) June 23, 2020