Commercial truck drivers in North Carolina may be interested in knowing that the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association submitted a motion to the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to have its argument against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reheard. The organization is asserting that the federal agency modified sleep apnea screening rules in an illegal manner.
Along with its legal representation, the OOIDA states that the FMSCA is in violation of a 2013 Congressional law that prohibits the federal agency from using guidance to control how sleep apnea screenings are managed and whether truck operators receive treatment. According to the 2013 law, the FMCSA is required to go through the formal rulemaking process before making any changes to the screening procedures. The process includes providing public notice and a comment period.
According to the OOIDA, when the FMCSA attached a provision pertaining to a sleep apnea onto a broader rule in 2015 that addressed the change in forms that were to be used by medical examiners for DOT physicals, the federal agency violated the law. The law that received the amendment also provided a requirement for examiners to provide the DOT physicals results to the FMCSA in no longer than one day. The FMCSA objects to the assertions made by the OOIDA and states that the addition of the sleep apnea provision to the broader rule did not significantly alter the guidance examiners should use when considering recommendations for in-lab sleep apnea tests.
An attorney who practices personal injury law may assist clients who have been injured in commercial truck accidents caused by driver fatigue. Financial damages may be pursued against multiple negligent parties, including the driver of the truck, his or her employer and others. The negligent parties may be held liable for violating federal trucking regulations.