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Are Nuclear Verdicts Out Of Control?

Increasing carrier insurance costs in combination with large “nuclear verdict” penalties have played a huge part in the abnormal amount of recent carrier bankruptcies. And, as more juries are awarding these types of verdicts, even some insurance companies are also being forced out of the industry. The extent of this legal issue and the resulting rise in insurance rates are posing a major threat to many trucking and shipper businesses.

Article Analysis

Almost everyone in the industry has seen the toll nuclear verdicts have had on carrier insurance rates, which, in turn, has made it that much harder for carriers to find affordable coverage. This is a concern that has had no shortage of headlines. With the severity of these legal consequences and the worry surrounding distracted or inexperienced drivers, both shippers and logistics companies need to concentrate on what they can do to be proactive.

This article cites health insurance costs, changing legal tactics and expectations for plaintiffs, and widespread media coverage as significant influences behind the increase of nuclear verdicts. The author believes that the negative effects of these penalties will not only continue to impact carriers and insurance companies but that it will eventually spread throughout the entire industry.

Focusing on accident avoidance may be the key to stopping this problem from growing even further out of control. New technologies, like autonomous vehicles or advanced sensors and cameras, alongside the strict enforcement of proper trucking policies, can help businesses better protect themselves against the threat nuclear verdicts pose to the industry. Click here for the complete Freightwaves article.

Additional Research

For further information about nuclear verdicts, in a partnership with Keller Logistics Group, Bowling Green State University Supply Chain Management students researched various aspects surrounding the topic. We would like to thank Dr. Hokey Min and students- Jodee O’Beirn, Brianna Finger, Chaelynne Kelly, Seth Daniels, and Vi Hong Dan Trinh for all their work in putting this piece together. Take a look at their findings here: Nuclear Verdict Whitepaper

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