When will Employers learn? If only the company had done a background check on its new driver…..

Roger Reagan would be alive today and celebrating Thanksgiving Day with his family if the Dunaway Timber Company had done a background check on its new driver.  The driver had no business driving a tractor trailer! You see, Morgan Quisenberry lied on his employment application about having two past license revocations for substance abuse. Dunaway Timber could have learned about these license revocations with a simple background search that took only 15 minutes and cost $15.

Roger Reagan was killed when Quisenberry’s tractor trailer went across the center line while taking a curve in the roadway and veered directly into the cab of the semi-truck Reagan was driving.

This deadly crash occurred only 19 days after the driver was hired by Dunaway.

The Plaintiff’s attorney argued that, “We all expect trucking companies who send truck drivers out onto the public roads to do so with professional, competent people and then make sure the company trains them and monitors them. But this was an example where a company hired someone who had no business driving a truck in the first place, and then blatantly ignored the regulations that govern the trucking industry.”

$7 MILLION is the amount awarded to Roger Reagan’s family.  The jury found Dunaway Timber to be 75% negligent and its driver 25% negligent in this case.

This is another story of a hard “lesson learned” for those companies – large or small – that do not have a robust pre employment screening process in place.  Dunaway Timber Company’s failure to do so was a tragic mistake for Roger Reagan and his family and a costly mistake for the company. Now is the time to take a look at your company’s hiring practices and processes to ensure they protect your company and your employees from mistakes and tragedies that could be brought about by just one bad hiring decision.

http://dockets.justia.com/docket/arkansas/arwdce/3:2010cv03016/34497/