There was a federal lawsuit filed this past week that will look at the issue of truck driver safety. Basically, Capt. Ken Urquhart, a District Commander with the Minnesota State Patrol in the Commercial Enforcement Division created a Fatigued Driving Evaluation Checklist which was to be used by troopers in deciding if a driver should be taken of the road. Drivers have united and decided to fight the effort.
Suit was filed against the state by two drivers who are taking the position that the checklist is arbitrary. They have used the tact of pointing out that the list includes question about appearance and cab use that are either silly or not relevant to the question of how tired the driver is.
Officer Urquhart was interviewed some time ago and described the questioning as “It’s similar to the drug recognition examiner, that once you complete that training, there’s the message they tell you is that you’ll have a better working knowledge of drug abuse than most MDs do, because you’re focused, you’re focused on a very narrow aspect of that person." Drivers have responded with questions about the medical support for the testing and for the troopers to even use the list.
The court will be asked to define the use of the test and if it is used for actual non medical diagnosis or if it does illegally infringe upon drivers’ rights to do their job. It’s expected that the state will defend the list as one tool in the investigation and that the list needs to be read as a whole. It would seem that there will need to be a look at when the list is used. Since it would require some underlying cause to stop and question the driver to start with, what questions are asked would need to be justified under a relevance standard before the answers could be used to ground a driver.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.