After the June 27 denial of certiorari for the Miller vs. C.H. Robinson appeal to the Supreme Court, many are wondering what the next steps are? So I did some research and went down the trail trying to locate Michael Miller’s legal team.
I found one of his co-counsels, consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. After an email exchange with Public Citizen’s communications team, I received correspondence from the lead attorney, Rena Leizerman, attorney for The Law Firm for Trucking Safety.
Who is Rena Leizerman?
Here is the list of accolades Rena Leizerman has received during her legal career. She is definitely at the forefront of defending clients against rogue trucking companies and unfit operators. She is definitely a leader in the field of truck accident law and someone I would not want to see across the aisle in the courtroom.
“Rena has taught a seminar in the laws and regulations governing truck and automobile collisions at the University of Toledo College of Law for the past seven years. In Spring 2022, she also will teach Jurisprudence and Modern Legal Thought. She serves on numerous boards and committees, including the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA), the American Association for Justice (AAJ), Trucking Litigation Group, and the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys (ATAA). She also is a founding president of the National Board of Truck Accident Attorneys. She recently spearheaded efforts in partnership with the NBTA and the ATAA to obtain the first and only American Bar Association-accredited board certification in truck accident law in the country. Prior to joining The Law Firm for Truck Safety, Rena practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP for eight years and served as a law clerk to the Hon. Mark Filip in the Northern District of Illinois.”truckingaccidents.com
The road going forward for Michael Miller
Now that the protections from liability for C.H. Robinson is gone, the road to a trial for Miller is clear. I asked Mrs. Leizerman about their opinion on the denial of certiorari and thoughts going forward. I received a simple, but elegant, response.
“Miller’s claims for negligence include the allegation that C.H. Robinson hired RT Service, a ‘chameleon’ motor carrier – a truck company that changes names and applies for a new USDOT number to avoid government fines and reduce insurance premiums.
“The lawsuit also alleged: “[T]here were red flags” and a “history of safety violations; over 40% of their trucks have been deemed illegal to be on the road when stopped for random inspections; they have been cited numerous times for hours of service violations and false log books; and their percentage of out of service violations is twice that of the national average.
“The rights of truck crash survivors and the families of people killed in truck crashes remain intact. The trial is set for January 2023 in federal court in Nevada. I am thrilled that Mr. Miller gets to bring his story to a jury and has the opportunity for justice and the lifetime of care he desperately needs.”Rena Leizerman, counsel of record for Mr. Miller
A very big case to start off the New Year
So it looks like 2023 will start off with a big trial that everyone will be watching with bated breath. This is “virgin ground,” as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said during the original appeal. A broker rarely has to take responsibility for the drivers it hires. And this trial involves one, if not the, largest brokerage in the world. Rena Leizerman received the first punitive damages verdict against a freight broker in Linhart v. Heyl Logistics, LLC in a federal district court in Oregon for negligent hiring in 2012.
Keep following Back The Truck Up and FreightWaves for more information as this case evolves.