Since the Schramm v. Foster, 341 F.Supp.2d 53 (D. Md. 2004), transportation companies have been aware of the possibility of suits and verdict against transportation brokers. This is significant because many carriers also broker loads, whether through a separate company or simply another function of their primary business. Transportation companies, therefore, need to be aware of the liability exposure when acting as a transportation broker.
Plaintiffs typically proceed against transportation brokers on theories of negligent hiring and negligent entrustment for retaining carriers that are deficient in some way, typically in their safety standards. Three recent verdicts illustrate the growing popularity of such claims by plaintiffs.
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