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Aug 29

Injured Trucker Sues Over Wrongful Denial of Insurance Benefits

The Daily Journal

August 29, 2014


Daily Journal reported on Kabateck LLP’s new personal injury case that involves a Los Angeles truck driver who was badlyinjured on the job while working for trucking giant, Exel Direct Inc..  According to lawsuit, filed this week in Superior Court, Exel Direct conspired with Zurich American Insurance Co. to force Rodriguez to buy an accident insurance policy, in lieu of Exel providing insurance for its drivers.

When Marcos Rodriguez suffered extensive neurological and orthopedic injuries after a refrigerator fell on his head in 2012, Zurich Insurance refused to investigate or pay his claim. Because Rodriguez is misclassified as an independent contractor, he’s not receiving workers compensation benefits either.

“This is a new twist where they force the driver to buy insurance with a selected company [saying] this will cover you since you have no workers’ compensation and then conveniently the insurance doesn’t cover,” Brian Kabateck told the Daily Journal. “It sounds like a collusive relationship to me with no intention to actually pay off,” said Kabateck.

California truckers have recently filed hundreds of lawsuits stemming from the misclassification of employees as “independent contractors” which deprives these truckers of minimum wage, paid overtime, benefits, meals and rest breaks provide to employee drivers and crewmembers. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that independent contractors deserve the same pay and protections as employees, under California law, because they signed independent contractor agreements and are doing the same work and are under the same control of the company as employees.