Amazon's plan for traffic deaths from same-day delivery: deflect blame to anonymous subcontractors

Or the contractors unionize and dictate the terms to the companies.

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Back in the 1970s, they used to teach the “Shorty” case when they covered corporate law in business school. The “Shorty” case involved a man who lost his legs in a traffic accident while riding in a taxi cab. He sued to collect damages.To avoid liability, the cab company was structured so that it was a holding company that owned a number of smaller taxi companies, each with just a few cars. In NYC, you’d often see some weird company name on the doors of various taxis because this structure was very common. Since this was before corporations completely took over our government, “Shorty” won. The so called “corporate shield” could be penetrated and damages collected from the holding company since the corporation operating the taxi had been created solely for the purpose of avoiding liability.

I’m sure this loophole was plugged during the Reagan years. I haven’t heard anything of the “Shorty” case in the last few decades. Online searches find nothing. If it is still on the books, some enterprising lawyer should consider applying it. It is more timely than ever.

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