There may be some people who still are surprised when they see or hear of individuals or corporations who regularly operate above the law, but the fact remains that even in these modern times some people and organizations feel they are not responsible to society and its rules. Sadly, not all scofflaws or fly-by-night businesses are caught by local police or the Federal agencies that are charged with regulating certain industries.
As Maryland personal injury attorneys, we understand the dangers that can be presented to innocent members of the public when a small business or large company skirts the law to make more profit by avoiding regulatory requirements. Being automobile injury and motorcycle accident lawyers, I and my colleagues know very well that some firms in the U.S. trucking industry cut corners to make more money.
These businesses, which are usually in violation of more than one government-mandated rule or regulation, typically do not worry about the negative effect that their actions can have on innocent motorists, pedestrians and even their own drivers. We’ve already mentioned one such company in a previous entry on this blog, but we also have heard of other commercial trucking companies that do not follow the law and who, by their actions, cause other parties losses in terms of property damage, bodily injury or death.
According to news stories a while back, Federal regulators shut down an Anne Arundel County-based commercial trucking firm that apparently re-opened under a different name following an earlier closure after Federal authorities discovered numerous safety violations, as well as seven traffic-related wrecks during 2011.
Based on news reports, Clock Transport, LLC, allegedly put out its own shingle less than a month after authorities shuttered Gunthers Transport, LLC, a company that regulators had labeled an “imminent hazard” to the driving public. According to reports, Clock Transport was started just weeks after Gunthers had been closed; the new company reportedly being headed by the son of the owner of the former Gunthers Transport firm.
Calling the new business a “reincarnated carrier,” Maryland State Police apparently believed that the newly established company was set up solely to circumvent the Federal order for Gunthers to shut down and cease operation. According to information provided by the MSP, the law enforcement agency told reporters that its officers would repeatedly pull over any commercial semi tractor-trailers and other trucks linked to the former Gunthers Transport address and inspect those vehicles for safety compliance.
Based on news stories, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMVSA) instituted a rarely enforcement regulatory tool — called the “imminent hazard out-of-service order” — that gives police agencies the authority to pull motor carriers belonging to either of the two commercial trucking firms (Gunthers, and now Clock) off of public roads; this due to the apparent connection between the two companies.
The latest order against Clock was issued by the FMVSA following an incident with one of that firm’s trucks in which it failed an inspection during a routine check out of state. According to news articles at the time, that instance was the only infraction cited by federal regulators against Clock Transport.
Under Federal law, the original shutdown order against Gunthers Transport included a provision that essentially states the company can not start up business again, nor sell or lease its equipment without the permission of regulators. Specifically, the order stated that Gunthers could not avoid the operations out-of-service order “by continuing operations under the name of another person or company.”
New trucking company shut in Arundel, BaltimoreSun.com, November 25, 2011