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Trucking company owners sentenced for safety violation scheme

While traversing Louisiana highways, motorists are required to share the roads with numerous commercial vehicles. The majority of commercial transportation companies strive to ensure that they are operating in compliance with all federal and state safety regulations. Unfortunately, there are sometimes cases where the owner of a trucking company seeks to skirt the laws in an attempt to keep unsafe vehicles in operation.

Recently, the co-owners of two scrap metal and recycling companies were sentenced for their scheme to keep their potentially dangerous tractor-trailers on the road. According to their drivers, the co-owners, a married couple, issued termination threats to their employees if they refused to deny knowledge of any safety issues related to their trucks. Employees were instructed to falsify Department of Transportation paperwork by claiming that their vehicles were free from any defects.

Law enforcement in two separate states where the couple transported the bulk of their loads stopped the vehicles for safety inspections. During some of these inspections, serious problems were noted, including such critical issues as faulty braking systems. It is unclear whether any repairs were made when police issued the inspection violations.

Each owner was sentenced to a year's probation and fined approximately $1,250, and the pair also admitted guilt to charges of failing to comply with DOT safety regulations. Several federal agencies were involved in this investigation, as well as state police from Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Due to the potential threats these large commercial vehicles pose to fellow travelers, every trucking company is required to ensure that their fleet is up to standards. Those who are injured in a crash in Louisiana involving a tractor-trailer typically suffer significant injuries and associated monetary damages. In an effort to recoup losses, victims may choose to file a civil lawsuit against the parties who are believed to be responsible for their damages. 

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