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Sleep apnea rules may be on the way for truck drivers

Despite the anti-regulatory push that is currently ongoing in the Trump administration, truck drivers in West Virginia and around the country may still expect new rules to be put in place for drivers who have sleep apnea. This is because the Supreme Court of the United States denied a writ of certiorari that was filed by a trucker who sued his carrier for asking that he undergo testing for sleep apnea.

The driver had filed a lawsuit against the carrier, alleging that the testing violated his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lower courts had ruled that the required testing did not violate his rights, and he filed a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court to try to secure a hearing. When the court denied the writ, it allowed the lower court's ruling to stand, paving the way for the company's testing rule to stay in place.

While no federal regulations exist that require testing for sleep apnea, the Federal Motor Carrier Association states that companies may keep drivers off the road if they suffer from conditions that impair their ability to drive, including sleep apnea. A rule that has been proposed would require that drivers who have the condition to get it treated before they can resume driving.

The trucking industry is highly regulated because of the dangers posed by commercial trucks to other motorists and pedestrians on the roads around them. When truck drivers have sleep apnea, they may fall asleep behind the wheels of their trucks, potentially causing catastrophic accidents. People who have suffered injuries when the drivers were at fault might want to consult with experienced personal injury lawyers to see how they can seek compensation for their losses.

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