A male bicyclist suffered a fractured leg after colliding with a friend who was cycling with him. The collision occurred when our client scrambled to get out of the way of an Allied Van Lines semi tractor trailer which came perilously close to striking him from behind.
Though the truck never stopped and the driver was never identified, we filed a lawsuit against Allied in DuPage County, where the company was headquartered.
After all of the evidence was gathered, Allied Van Lines brought a motion to dismiss claiming that they were not liable for our client’s injuries. In support of their motion Allied pointed out that they did not employ any drivers, nor did they own any trucks. Allied Van lines is a sort of umbrella corporation. It contracts with moving companies who own trucks and employ drivers. When Allied contracts with a company they funnel business to the company and they allow the company to use Allied’s logo.
Illinois law dictates that a commercial truck bearing the logo and US-DOT number of a corporation is operating pursuant to the corporation’s authority, and therefore, the corporation is vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence. Because of this law, we argued that identification of the driver, ownership of the truck, and actual contact were all irrelevant.
The only relevant question before the court was whether or not there was a reasonable question of material fact as to whether or not the subject truck bore the Allied Van Lines logo and US DOT license number.