August 2014

Overdrive Magazine | Trucking Business News & Owner Operator Info

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16 | Overdrive | August 2014 Logbook Untitled-48 1 3/15/13 9:44 AM Text INFO to 205-289-3555 or visit www.ovdinfo.com Drivers sue over pre-employment reports Six drivers filed a class-action lawsuit last month against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration claim- ing the agency "disparaged" their safety records and diminished their value by oversharing information on their Pre-Employment Screening Pro- gram reports for potential employers. The drivers are seeking statutory damages of $1,000 per alleged vio- lation for themselves and every member of the class, members of which would be determined by the court if the drivers win their suit. FMCSA says its policy is not to comment on pending litigation. According to claims in the court documents, PSP reports are only to contain accident reports and "reports of serious driver-related safety violations." The reports, which carriers obtain from FMCSA, are relat- ed to the agency's Compliance, Safety, Accountability program and draw upon the agency's Motor Carrier Management In- formation System. They include three years' worth of inspection data and five years' of crashes. PSP reports for the six drivers filing the suit, along with other potential members of the class, contained "violations of law not determined by the Secretary [of Transportation] to be 'serious driver-related violations' under circumstances where motor car- riers are entitled only to receive 'serious driver-related safety violation inspection reports,' " according to the lawsuit. The inclusion of such infor- mation also violates the 1974 Privacy Act, the suit alleges. The six plaintiffs are Thom- as Flock of Nebo, Ill.; Dennis Thompson of Mauk, Ga.; Thomas Gooden of Hudson, Fla.; Douglas Heisler of Peach Bottom, Pa.; Walter Johnson of Lawrence, Mass.; and Gayla Kyle of Ogden, Kan. Their PSP reports included violations like excessive weight, failure to use a seatbelt, and use of a radar detector. –James Jaillet

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