Is the broker-carrier relationship a joint venture?

Amie Brown the widow of a Hudson firefighter Christopher Brown has filed a lawsuit  seeking more than $50,000.her husband was struck and killed March 3, 2013 by a Move CIt Auto Transport Inc truck when the driver, Mansur  Shakirov, failed to move into the right lane to avoid the emergency scene that the fire fighter had responded to. What is interesting to me is that the lawsuit claims that the move was a joint venture between the broker and the transport company. If the broker shares in the revenue, must he also share the liability?

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2 Responses to Is the broker-carrier relationship a joint venture?

  1. SuperDispatch says:

    This is one of the ongoing dialogues we have have been having as well. We dispatch for many different carriers in Auto Transport. As a dispatching service, how much of the liability is shared for the loads booked through us?

    So far, we’ve seen that burden of liability is clearly defined in some broker-carrier agreements. Most do not have that clause, or a contract altogether.

    I think its important to define it in the agreement, so if the carrier and broker are both content with the agreed terms, they can distribute liability accordingly.

    I wonder what arguments are being made to include the broker, and I also wonder if the insurance company is named in the lawsuit.

  2. RonW says:

    This has become an issue for us while seeking insurance. We have become increasingly disgusted with our Insurance provider and, for the first time in 7 years have been shopping for a new policy. We have 1 USDOT #, with 2 separate MC#s, one for the carrier and one for the brokering. We have EXACTLY 1 brokering customer, as my uncle owns a Ford dealership. I can’t possibly move all of his vehicles, so we broker that out. We always did this as overflow without bond or even broker authority since it was overflow work that we couldn’t do ourselves… When the laws changed last year we decided we had to come clean and purchase a bond and obtain authority.

    So now only about 20% of insurance companies will even quote us. They all cry “vicarious liability” risks. It is the idea that WE hire Company X to move a unit. They have a crash or damage a unit and are not properly insured. The insurance companies fear that someone will sue US as the broker…

    It is essentially ludicrous for several reasons. 1) we validate everyone we hire via Safer to be sure they have insurance and authority 2) we demand to be listed as additional insured and receive a cert 3) from the cargo side, if a claim is presented and the unit was not on one of OUR trailers, we all know that our company is going to tell them to pound sand…. But all the same this “perceived” risk is making acquiring any new policy quite difficult.

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