Yesterday, on August 18, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) penalized Asphalt Specialists for retaliating against three of their workers. The company, which is based in Michigan, fired the employees after they refused to violate hours-of-services laws by driving without enough rest between shifts. It is against federal law for tired truck drivers to get behind the wheel. Furthermore, it is illegal for an employer to punish employees who report safety violations.

Asphalt Specialists was ordered to pay $953,916 in damages and backpay and also had to reinstate all three employees. OSHA’s decision to penalize the company comes after the truck accident in June that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed his friend, Jimmy Mack. The Wal-Mart driver of the truck that crashed into Morgan, Kevin Roper, was charged with vehicular homicide and assault. Prosecutors state that Roper had been driving longer than the federal limit and consequently, was not able to respond quickly enough to prevent the accident. Morgan and others involved in the accident have since filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart.

Legal Commentary
Unfortunately, truck accidents are quite common and many, including family members, suffer as a result. Had the Asphalt Specialists employees in this situation complied with their employers’ demands, they may have put innocent lives at risk, like that of Tracy Morgan and others who were in the van. From a civil standpoint, our firm has represented numerous victims and their families who are affected by a motor vehicle accident. . A successful civil claim would enable the survivors and their families to cover any needed medical expenses. A successful claim can also possibly cover any time lost from work or any pain and suffering caused by the injuries received from the accident. If you or a loved one was affected by this incident or one similar, contact the experienced attorneys at Fears | Nachawati Law Firm by sending an email to mn@fnlawfirm.com or by calling our office at 1.866.705.7584.

About the Author
Majed Nachawati is a preeminent personal injury lawyer with a focus on representing victims and families involved in automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, and product liability claims throughout the state of Texas. Mr. Nachawati has resolved numerous workplace motor vehicle accident cases through trial and settlement that have brought seven and eight figure confidential reward settlements. His is on the Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas. He is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of Texas and Arkansas and is licensed in the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas. Mr. Nachawati is a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Board of Directors for Public Justice, a Leader’s Forum and PAC member of the American Association for Justice. Mr. Nachawati has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Texas Monthly Magazine for the past five years in a row for legal excellence, in connection with wrongful death and products liability cases. Mr. Nachawati is also a member of The Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Mr. Nachawati can be contacted by email or by calling 1.866.705.7584.