Lew Grill is a trucking litigation consulting expert specializing in the standard of care of truck drivers and the motor carriers who employ them. Lew Grill is a trucking expert with over 44 years of experience as a truck driver, owner operator, truck driver training instructor, truck driver training program director, safety director, and as a consultant for law firms, trucking fleets, insurance companies, and truck driving schools. Lew Grill’s trucking experience includes millions of miles of truck driving, and the qualification, training, and supervision of truck drivers. Lew Grill has taken courses at Northwestern University that include accident investigation, math and physics, vehicle dynamics, accident reconstruction involving automobiles, pedestrians, and commercial motor vehicles, and human factors used in accident reconstruction. Lew Grill currently owns and operates his own truck as Lew Grill Specialized Services.
BackgroundQ: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
A: 1968 - Present: Commercial Drivers License for tractor-trailer with endorsements for hazardous materials, tank truck, double & triple trailers, motor coach, and school bus. I also have been granted the following certificates:
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois: Math & Physics, Accident Investigation 1 & 2, Vehicle Dynamics, Traffic Accident Reconstruction 1& 2, Heavy Vehicle Crash Reconstruction, Pedestrian Vehicle Traffic Collisions.
Certification for air brake inspection and repair, MGM Brakes, Rockwell International, Bendix.
Certification for operation of Longer Combination Vehicles (LCVs).
Pilot/Escort Driver Certification for Oversize and Super Loads of extreme weight & dimension.
Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC): Certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for unescorted access to secure areas of facilities and vessels regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) of 2002.
International Correspondence School / Penn Foster, Scranton, Pennsylvania:
Diesel Mechanics/Heavy Truck Maintenance.
North American Transportation Management Institute (NATMI): Basic and advanced accident investigation course, Safety Director course, Managing Motor Fleet Safety Programs.
CVSA Driver/Vehicle Examination Procedure Workshop, Colorado Highway Patrol.
Vocational Teachers Certification, Colorado State Board for Community Colleges and Master Certified Instructor for conducting CDL Workshops, Career Publishing and the Highway Users Federation for Safety and Mobility.
Vocational Teachers Certification, Commercial Driving School Instructor License, Commercial Driver Training School Section, Office of the Secretary of State of Illinois.
Motor Coach Driver Instructor Course, Greyhound Lines Inc.
Mechanical Drafting, Tom P Haney Technical Center, Panama City, Florida.
Tractor-Trailer driving, Northeastern Technical Institute, Fleetville, Pennsylvania.
United Mine Workers and Operating Engineers Unions, Wilkes-Barre, PA, Heavy Equipment Operating and Truck Driving.
(The most recent version of my complete CV appears at: www.LewGrill.com)
Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
A: American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carrier Association, North American Transportation Management Institute (NATMI), Montana Motor Carrier Association, Montana Contractor Association, Wyoming Motor Carriers Association, Colorado Motor Carrier Association, American Truck Historical Society, Owner Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA- Lifetime Member), Association of Private Sector Colleges & Universities, Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
A: I have been teaching truck driving to entry-level and experienced drivers at accedited career schools and colleges of technology since 1983. Subject matter includes clasroom lectures and hands-on driving in tractor trailers. Examples include: basic operation, safe operating practices, hazard recognition, emergency maneuvers, skid control & recovery, extreme driving conditions, logbooks and hours of service, preventive maintenance and servicing of trucks, cargo handling and securement, among other subjects.
2008 Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), “Top Issues Surrounding Trucking Litigation,” Banff, Canada.
2008 Farmers Insurance Group, "From Crash - To Claim - To Courtroom," San Francisco.
2006 Lorman Education Services, “Trucking Litigation and DOT Regulations Seminar,” Charlotte, NC.
2003 Trucking Industry Defense Association, “Standard of Care for Truck Drivers,” Denver, CO.
2002 Montana Contractor Association, “Construction and Off-Road Trucking,” Helena, Montana.
1998 Mid-America Truck show in Louisville, Kentucky, “Partners-In-Business” seminar for owner-operators sponsored by Volvo and Overdrive Magazine.
1996 U.S. Department of Transportation public hearing to determine implementation of minimum standards for training tractor-trailer drivers.
1993 American Trucking Association, Council of Safety Supervisors, Denver, Colorado.
1992 Randall Publishing / Overdrive Magazine Symposiums, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
1991 Overdrive Magazine Symposiums, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
1989 International Truck Show Driver Training Forum, Los Angeles, CA.
1988 Interstate Carriers Conference Annual Convention, Las Vegas, NV.
1988 Interstate Carriers Conference, Council of Safety Supervisors, Finding & Training Truck Drivers, Atlanta, GA.
1988 Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration, national forum on simulator use in the trucking industry, Washington, D.C.
1988 Martin Labbe & Assoc., Equipment Mfg. Assoc. Industry Trends, Daytona Beach.
1988 American Trucking Associations, Council of Safety Supervisors Annual Convention, St. Louis, Missouri.
1987 National Association of Truck Driving Schools “Model Curriculum for Training Tractor-Trailer Drivers,” Washington, D.C.
1987 Interstate Carriers Conference of the American Trucking Associations, “Minimum Standards for Training Tractor-Trailer Drivers,” Washington, D.C.
1986 U.S. Department of Transportation public hearing regarding Model Curriculum for training tractor-trailer drivers.
Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
A: Approximately 1,000 times over the last 28 years. Many times for assessment to determine if a case is viable.
Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
A: Issues pertaining to the standard of care of truck driving and motor carriers, including state and federal regulations, commercial driver standards and customs and practices.
I have worked on numerous cases involving:
Truck vs. car, truck vs. truck, truck vs. motorcycle, truck vs. pedestrian, truck vs. train, and solo truck accidents (rollover, ran off road, mountain pass runnaway, ran of bridge, truck fire).
My testimony generally centers on whether the actions of truck drivers and motor carriers were right or wrong. Issues include driver negligence, institutional negligence (e.g., negligent hiring & retention, management, training, & supervision).
I have also worked on cases involving copyright infringement, legal malpractice (trucking issues), medical malpractice (trucking issues).
Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
A: 35% of my consultant time I am named as a plaintiff expert. I often give consulting opinions regarding the viability of litigating a tucking-related accident.
Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
A: 65% of my consultant time I am named as a defense expert. Many times I am retained for evaluating a case not yet in litigation.
Q: On how many occasions have you had your deposition taken?
A: Over 500.
Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
A: Approximately 100 trials and arbitrations.
Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
A: 28 years.
Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
A: Litigation consulting, opinion written reports (also high definition broadcast quality video reports for mediation), depositions and trial testimony (live or via satellite).
Site Inspections: include driving tractor-trailer equipment through an accident scene, with high-defininition broadcast quality video or photography from driver's eye-level inside the cab, and/or outside stationary positions to accuratly illustrate relative accident characteristics, such as visibility, approach angles, perception/reaction/brake lag times, maneuvering time and motion.
Transportation studies and investigations to support or refute opinions: I operate trucks and trailers to determine stopping distances, visibility factors, perception & reaction times, driver movement time relative to scanning mirrors and gauges, shifting, time & motion based on testimony (e.g., turning, backing, starting and stopping, time for driver to place out warning devices, time relevant to cross intersections, speed relative to gear selection, etc.).
Truck driver training -- safe way to operate tractor-trailers
Motor carrier training -- compliance with federal and state regulations, and preparation for USDOT safety audits and compliance reviews.
Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
A: $300 (first hour is always free. Knowing that each case is different, I feel it is necessary for both the attorney and I to assess each other).
Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
A: $300. (Estimate a minute per page for depositions, and 10 pages per minute for case documents such as ROGS and Production of Documents. Research is always free. Typical accident reports and witness statements are generally between 15 min-45 min., and MAIT reports are 1 min. per page. Photographs are studied as a group, and generally 10-25 photographs take 15 min., a disk of 100 photos take about 45 min. Logbook comparison to supporting documents, such as time & date comparison of fuel tickets, toll receipts, vehicle position history, etc. to the hours a driver logged are very time consuming--generally 1 week of log verification can take 2 hours.)
Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
A: $450 (a 4-hour, or $1,800 min. is required everywhere except California wich is actual time. I frequently reduce charges for opposing counsel if depositions are less than 2 hours. This should be discussed first based on my calendar).
Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
A: $500 ($2,000 min.). I usually show up 1 day in advance of trial at no additional charge, but charge $300/hr for pre-trial meeting time.
Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
A: Travel time expenses are $300/hr. from portal to portal, plus actual costs for airline, hotel, meals, and ground transportation.
Assistant/paralegal fees, including scanning, copying,and filing are $85/hr.
Truck usage fees is $500/hr for accident site investigations, reenactment, reconstruction, videography and includes equipment, insurance, fuel, and operator. Photography and high-definition video fees vary according to scope of project. Cost estimates are provided by request.
Please see Fee Schedule at: http://www.lewgrill.com