Court upholds $15.3 million verdict against Swift

By CCJ Staff on

A federal appeals court rejected Swift Transportation’s bid for a new trial in a lawsuit that yielded a $15.3 million jury verdict against the Phoenix-based truckload giant. The case centered on a March 2006 accident involving a collision between a Swift and Yellow Freight trucks. Terry Frederick was in the sleeping berth of the Yellow truck at the time and sued for damages. Following the accident, the Swift driver had tested positive for methamphetamine.

Following the verdict, Swift appealed, arguing it did not get a fair trial due to various rulings and jury instructions that the carrier considered improper. In a decision issued Aug. 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld all the rulings Swift had challenged and denied the trucking company’s request for a new trial on both liability and damages.

A copy of the opinion is available on the Tenth Circuit’s website.

3 comments
Gordon
Gordon

Fortunately drivers using drugs are few and far between. But these few do a lot of damage to our industry.

Swift does have a problem and I attribute it among other things to poor training, trainers and little or no real background checking with past employers.
Granted, Swift does give newbie drivers a chance with no experience but there does need to be a line drawn somewhere.
Six months experience as a driver to become a trainer is not enough time behind the wheel. 6 years is more like it.
A company the size of Swift should increase the number of random drugs tests to help weed out these drug using drivers.
Alas , these few drivers are the ones the media , the public and LEO's see and not the professional.
Swift is not the only carrier with these kinds of problems.
Swift,it is time to tighten your hiring standards.
Raise the bar and demand professionalism from your drivers.

Richard Cawley
Richard Cawley

Your comment is awaiting moderation.
January 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I drove for swift in 2009 for over three months and never saw a real paycheck…I was due over 4000 dollars that was never given, how do you apply to get associated with the lawsuit against swift?

Tom Zuppke
Tom Zuppke

How can I ensure my name is part of the settlement list re: shortage of mileage pay, Swift vs. Drivers...? I drove for Swift ~2000 thru 2004 with a rears LOA for the 2nd Gulf War. I specifically remember them paying "as the crow flies" miles for trips that logged out as many more actual miles, sometimes twofold.

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  1. [...] isn’t the first bad news Swift Transportation has received in court this year. In August, a federal appeals court rejected Swift Transportation’s bid for a new trial in a lawsuit that yiel… The case centered on a March 2006 accident involving a collision between a Swift and Yellow Freight [...]

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