According to a recent filing with the U.S. Eight Circuit Court of Appeals, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, or OOIDA, is seeking that the court re-hear its challenge of a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulation related to sleep apnea screening for truck drivers. This regulation affects drivers across Louisiana as sleep apnea can lead to fatigued driving.
According to the court filing, the OOIDA believes that a 2015 rule change by the FMCSA violated a 2013 federal law intended to block the federal government from guiding the regulation of sleep apnea screening among truck drivers. The 2013 statute requires that FMCSA use the formal rule-making process for any change to the rules governing sleep apnea screening in truck drivers. The formal process includes a mandatory period of public notice and period of public comment. It is undisputed that the 2015 rule change did not include periods of public notice or comment.
However, the FMCSA disagrees that it was necessary to follow the formal rule-making process. According to the FMCSA, the 2015 change did not "substantively change" the guidelines governing sleep apnea testing. The organization argues that the rule change merely amended the forms used by Department of Transportation for driver medical screening.
Fatigued driving caused by sleep apnea can lead to devastating car and truck accidents. A person injured in a crash caused by a fatigued driver may have a claim for damages such as medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. An attorney with experience in personal injury law may be able to help that individual in recovering those damages from the responsible party. An attorney may be able to file a lawsuit on behalf of the individual in addition to filing motions and requesting discovery in an attempt to ascertain the facts of the case. Legal professionals may help negotiate a settlement with the responsible party, their insurance company or their employer.