Jim Carr and Tyler Barnett File Suit Against Amazon Logistics, Inc. for Vicarious Liability

9. 24. 20

On July 23, 2020 at around 2:10 a.m., Calvin Everhart, 53, of San Fernando, was driving a Hino truck northbound on US-395, just south of the South China Lake Boulevard exit in Ridgecrest, CA when he crossed over the center line and collided head-on with plaintiff Luis Angel Valdes, 41, of Hesperia, who was driving a Freightliner. Calvin Everhart succumbed to injuries sustained in the collision and was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr. Valdes survived, but suffered catastrophic injuries including a traumatic brain injury that will require a lifetime of care. Mr. Everhart was transporting freight on behalf of Amazon Logistics, Inc., who denies liability for the crash. 

Plaintiff contends the following rule of law applies.  Highway motor carriers licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are liable for the negligence of their independent contractor truckers who cause a traffic accident. (Gamboa v. Conti Trucking, Inc. (1993) 19 Cal.App.4th 663, 665-668.)  This rule of liability is derived from the public policy exception which imputes liability to the hirer of an independent contractor when the work delegated to the contractor involves an unreasonable risk of harm to others and can lawfully be performed only under a license or franchise granted by public authority. (Serna v. Petty Leach Trucking, Inc. (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 1475, 1486.)  Amazon Logistics, Inc., therefore, owed a non-delegable duty to plaintiff pursuant to the above prevailing law and is vicariously liable for the negligent acts and omissions of its independent contractors.