The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, a group that lobbies for the interests of independent truck drivers, is seeking to have their complaint against a rule change made by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reheard. The rule relates to the guidelines for the screening of truck drivers for sleep apnea. This issue affects North Carolina drivers given that fatigued driving has been linked to several fatal tractor-trailer crashes.
According to a filing submitted to the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals by the OOIDA, the FMCSA violated federal law with its recent rule change. The OOIDA argues that a 2013 statute blocks any rule change relating to sleep apnea screening that doesn’t go through the formal rulemaking process. Under federal law, this formal rulemaking process includes a set time of public notice regarding the rule change as well as a period for public comments. The OOIDA claims the FMCSA altered the guidelines for sleep apnea screening through a rule that was implemented without following the formal rulemaking process.
The FMCSA disagrees, claiming that the rule does not substantively change the requirements in place regarding screening for sleep apnea. They argue that the rule merely reworked some of the forms used by Department of Transportation employees during driver health screenings.
A collision with a tractor-trailer can be devastating. An individual who was injured in a crash that was caused by a fatigued driver may have a claim for damages, including medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. An attorney with experience in personal injury law may be able to assist a truck accident victim with bringing a lawsuit against the responsible party. A lawyer can file the lawsuit and proceed with the investigation process to help determine the facts of the case. In some circumstances, an attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement between the victim and the responsible party.