Fuel Smarts

Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Decide if Unloading is "Operating" A Trailer

December 04, 2000

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether or not loading and unloading a trailer is "operating or maintaining" a motor vehicle under the state’s workers’ compensation law.

The case stems from workers' comp claims collected by a Boise Cascade Office Products employee who was injured when the pallet truck he was using to unload a trailer struck a dock plate. The employee received workers' comp benefits for his injuries and also won $1.5 million in a negligence suit against the pallet truck supplier. Boise Cascade filed a petition for subrogation rights to the money, basically arguing that it had a right to some of the damage award since it had paid the workers’ comp claim.
The employee countered that Boise Cascade had no such rights, since his injuries occurred through the use and maintenance of a motor vehicle. Pennsylvania’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law prohibits employers or their insurance companies from demanding subrogation of damages recovered from a third party if those damages occurred "out of the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle."
A lower court sided with Boise Cascade, ruling that the worker was injured by the machine he was operating inside the trailer, not by any use of the trailer itself.

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Maximum 2000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

Newsletter

We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.



GotQuestions?

LUBRICANTS

The expert, Mark Betner from Citgo will answer your questions
Ask a question

Sponsored by


WHEEL ENDS SOLUTIONS

Wheel end expert Jeff Geist from STEMCO will answer your questions
Ask a question

Sponsored by

Magazine