In September 2004, Martin King and Tobias Ledzema were both driving tractor-trailers in Lake County when Ledzema’s trailer struck King’s. King sued Ledzema’s employer, Fierro Trucking, based in Illinois, alleging negligent hiring and supervision.
King noted in his lawsuit that Ledzema was a Mexican citizen without permanent resident status in the United States. Further, Ledzema had less than six months’ experience as a truck driver before joining Fierro. Fierro, a firm consisting of the owner and two drivers, had no written application, no hiring rules and no written drug policy. King alleged the company conducted no background checks or reference checks before hiring Ledzema.
Fierro contended that Ledzema provided the company with copies of his commercial driver’s license and an inspection report on his tractor-trailer. His training consisted of two weeks of driving with Fierro, and Fierro conducted weekly safety meetings.
The court found that even if Fierro’s hiring procedures were substandard, they were not connected to the accident, which was the result of a careless error. King could not show that better screening would have prevented Ledzema from being involved in the accident. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana dismissed the case.
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