These rules were challenged by a trucker who alleged mandated testing of drivers at-risk for sleep apnea violated his civil rights. Both the trial court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit disagreed, and more recently, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request for review, meaning the appellate court ruling stands. What that means is trucking companies will feel free to test drivers and prospective drivers who may be at risk for the condition, potentially even at the driver’s own expense.
This is good news for those of us who share the road with big rigs for a number of reasons. The first is that people who have sleep apnea are prone to sudden bouts of extreme fatigue during the day. For truck drivers, this is more than just an annoyance; it could prove a potentially fatal occurrence. Beyond that, it may give injury lawyers grounds to assert a trucking carrier was negligent in hiring or retaining drivers who either tested positive for the condition and didn’t receive treatment or who were at risk but were never tested. Continue reading ›