I recently argued a case before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado. I represent several dock workers in a case filed against J.B. Hunt Trucking. The workers were exposed and injured by a hazardous material while sweeping out a trailer, which had been used to deliver bundles of recyclable paper. The Trial Court threw the case out because we were not able to prove where the hazardous material came from. Of course, the only the information we had on that was from the defendant, J.B. Hunt.
I argued that, since we proved the hazardous material was not in the paper, then it was already in Hunt’s empty trailer when their driver picked it up. Photographs taken after the fact show a fertilizer-like matter scattered all over the inside of the trailer. Hunt’s driver should have known something was not right when he inspected the trailer, but used it anyway. The material was later discovered to be toxic only when made airborne by sweeping.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has not made a decision at this time. A written opinion should be rendered by the Court in the next several weeks. If we win, the case will come back to Oklahoma for a jury trial. Keep your eye on this blog to learn how your rights may be affected by decisions made by our courts.