The Missouri Southern District Court of Appeals ruled last week that stabbing people was not part of the job description at Con-way or at its predecessor CFI.
The ruling was made in conjunction with a lawsuit filed by a driver who was stabbed by former Con-Way trucker Nicholas Dominguez following a 2007 road rage incident. The ruling upheld a decision by a Dent County judge to issue a summary judgment in favor of the trucking company.
The incident was described in the court's opinion:
Dominguez was an over-the-road truck driver employed by CFI—an interstate commercial motor carrier—from May 7, 2003, to December 21, 2007. Dominguez was paid on a per-mile basis. On December 18, 2007, Kerry Inman—an over-the-road truck driver for a different trucking company—was en route from Louisiana to Chicago on Interstate 40 when Dominguez—en route to Connecticut—attempted to enter Inman’s lane ahead of Inman. Dominguez “flipped Inman off[.]”
Shortly thereafter, both Inman and Dominguez exited the highway and drove to Love’s Truck Stop in Palestine, Arkansas; Dominguez purportedly drove to the truck stop to complete paperwork, including his federal log book, and to meet another driver whom he was supposed to awaken. At the truck stop, Dominguez exited his truck and approached Inman, asking him “what [his] problem was”; Inman responded that he “didn’t have a problem” and proceeded to explain to Dominguez “that [he] could not let [Dominguez] out in front of [him] when [he] was already started past [Dominguez], and [he] could not slam on [his] brakes in front of another driver.” Dominguez “said a choice word” and then stabbed
Inman in the chest. Due to his stab injuries, Inman was unable to return to work as an
over-the-road truck driver.
The court did not dispute Inman's version of events, but laid the blame at Dominguez doorstep, not at Con-way's:
It is uncontroverted that Dominguez left his truck and then approached and stabbed Kerry Inman. There is no conceivable factual scenario in which that outrageous conduct could be considered within
the course and scope of his employment.
The attorney for Inman and his wife, Tina, argued that Dominguez' road rage was a frequent problem for truck drivers and was the company's responsibility.