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Wilkes v. Celadon Group, Inc.

Court: Supreme Court of Indiana

Docket: 19S-CT-00564

Opinion Date: December 6, 2021

Judge: Slaughter

Areas of Law: Personal Injury, Transportation Law

This case law update is brought to you by Freeway Law auto accident and personal injury lawyers in Orange County. The following is not one of our cases, but it is of some significance, and we thought we should share it with our readers for informational purposes. The information above is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.

The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment for a shipper and its agent and against a commercial truck driver who sustained injuries when his cargo fell on him, holding that this Court expressly adopts the Fourth Circuit’s “Savage rule.”

At issue was whether Defendant was negligent in packing, loading, and failing to secure the trailer’s cargo. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant at issue on appeal. The Supreme Court adopted the Savage rule, which holds that carriers have the primary duty for loading and securing cargo, and if the shipper assumes a legal duty of safe loading it becomes liable for injuries resulting from any latent defect. The Court then affirmed, holding (1) given both the rule’s sound policy and its consistency with Indiana law, this Court formally adopts the Savage rule; and (2) Defendant was not liable for Plaintiff’s injuries under the circumstances of this case.

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