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OSA Costing the Trucking Industry Billions

9/11/2012

 

Even Without Goverment Regulations, Sleep Apnea Is Already Costing the Trucking Industry Billions of Dollars Each Year

Even Without Government Regulations, Sleep Apnea Is Already Costing the Trucking Industry Billions of Dollars Each Year

As research and new court cases confirm, the dangers and responsibilities associated with Sleep Apnea may cost your business more money than you realize. Regulations requiring U.S. carriers to screen their commercial drivers for Sleep Apnea may be a year or more away; however, the consequences of accidents caused by suspected Sleep Apnea are already present and decisive in the courts.


Recent Court Rulings


During a recent Compli-hosted Webinar on legal issues within the Carrier Industry, Angela Cash, of Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, observed that “…the case law that’s developing out there [in the courts] is already putting the liability on motor carriers even without a regulation from the FMCSA that would require companies to screen for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.”[1]
Moreover, expert testimony on Sleep Apnea has lead to several courts siding with the plaintiffs in civil suits, even in the absence of a medical diagnosis.

With the constant press and research findings of Sleep Apnea case studies, companies can no longer claim ignorance on this matter. Employers in the industry must be proactive when
it comes to identifying and treating Sleep Apnea in their drivers. Warning signs for sleep apnea are easily identified, and as Cash concluded in the Webinar, “If [a] driver is involved in an accident where it appears sleep behind the wheel may have been an issue…The plaintiff’s council will say ‘I can see it, why couldn’t you see it motor carrier? You were there all along’.”