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Susan Ann Sanders, As the Representative of Jodi Hardwick-Schubert v. Rap Trucking

February 22, 2012

SUSAN ANN SANDERS, AS THE REPRESENTATIVE OF JODI HARDWICK-SCHUBERT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
RAP TRUCKING, INC., A MASSACHUSETTS CORPORATION, AND RANDY H. GROSS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael P. McCUSKEY Chief U.S. District Judge

E-FILED

Wednesday, 22 February, 2012 08:34:32 AM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

This case is before the Court for ruling on the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (#141) on Count II of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint-a claim of negligent hiring, training, and/or supervision against Defendant RAP Trucking, Inc. ("RAP Trucking"). This court has carefully reviewed the arguments of the parties and the documents filed by the parties. Following this careful and thorough review, Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (#141) is GRANTED.

FACTS*fn1

I. COLLISION

On February 10, 2008, at approximately 4:11 am, Defendant Randy H. Gross ("Gross") was operating a semi truck and trailer owned by or leased to Defendant RAP Trucking northbound on Interstate Route 57 near mile post 258 in Ford County, Illinois. At said time and place Plaintiff Jodi Hardwick-Schubert (formerly Jodi Campbell) ("Jodi") was operating her Dodge Caravan minivan northbound on Interstate Route 57. At said time and place, Defendants' semi truck and trailer crashed into the rear end of Jodi's vehicle. There are no known witnesses to the collision itself, with the exception of two drivers, and Jodi has no memory of the collision due to severe injuries she suffered in the collision. Jodi's complaint alleges that the accident was the direct and proximate result of one or more of a combination of various acts or omissions on the part of Gross, including: speeding, failure to reduce speed, failure to keep a proper lookout for other motor vehicles, and other unspecified negligence. The Defendants deny Jodi's allegations of negligence, alleging a variety of affirmative defenses, none of which are relevant to this motion.

There is no dispute that Gross was an employee of RAP Trucking at all relevant times and was operating the semi truck and trailer in the scope of his employment at the time of the collision. After the collision, Gross was not subject to any testing for alcohol or controlled substances. There is, however, no evidence suggesting that Gross was under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance at the time of the collision.

II. GROSS' EMPLOYMENT WITH RAP TRUCKING

Gross was hired by RAP Trucking on August 11, 2006. The employment file for Gross did not contain a copy of a pre-employment drug test, which is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety ("FMCS") Regulations. The employment file also did not contain any evidence that an employment background check was conducted by RAP Trucking within 30 days of Gross' hire, as required by the FMCS Regulations. Additionally, the file did not contain the required annual transcript of Gross' driving records, which the FMCS Regulations require be obtained each year of continued employment. There is also no evidence that RAP Trucking ever had a supervisory meeting with Gross, including after Gross was convicted of three driving-related issues in late 2007 and early 2008.

III. GROSS' DRIVING RECORD

Plaintiff has offered no evidence that Gross has ever been involved in an accident besides the collision at issue in this case. Similarly, the Plaintiff has not offered any evidence that Gross had any driving infractions prior to his employment with RAP Trucking. However, during his time with RAP Trucking, there is evidence of three driving-related infractions. First, Gross was convicted in the State of New Jersey for careless driving on November 28, 2007. Second, Gross received an unspecified commercial vehicle violation in the State ...


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