Attorney: U-Haul 'knowingly put profits ahead of safety' by removing brakes from tow dolly fleet


By Mary Ann Magnell | Aug 23, 2018

PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) – A lawsuit that states U-Haul put profits before its customers’ well-being went to trial in an Arizona courtroom last week.

PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) – A lawsuit that states U-Haul put profits before its customers’ well-being went to trial in an Arizona courtroom last week.

“This is a company that consistently and knowingly put profits ahead of safety and did it for years,” said plaintiff Joshua Wing’s attorney, Jonathan Kieffer of Wagstaff & Cartmell LLP, in an Aug. 16 article on Courtroom View Network (CVN), which is webcasting the trial.

The alleged lack of brakes on a tow dolly was blamed for an accident in which Wing was thrown from the passenger seat of a Dodge pickup truck while towing a Toyota 4Runner from Oregon to Texas in 2014.

The lawsuit named U-Haul International and U-Haul Co. of Oregon as the defendants and alleged that the absence of brakes on the tow dolly caused the accident, which resulted in the spinal injury of Wing and paralysis.

CVN reported that the lawsuit argued U-Haul “violated an Arizona law that required any vehicle trailer in excess of 3,000 pounds to have independent brakes, a position affirmed by the judge in a pretrial ruling.”

According to CVN, the lawsuit states U-Haul of removed "brakes from its tow dolly fleet to cut down on maintenance and repair costs.” 

In his opening statement, the plaintiff’s attorney said that U-Haul “is the only company renting out tow dollies without brakes designed for vehicles smaller than heavy six-wheel trucks to tow other large vehicles,” according to CVN’s article. 

He further stated that similar companies, such as Penske Truck Rental and Budget Truck Rental, do not rent these types of vehicles out because of “safety concerns.”

Defendant U-Haul disagreed, and claimed that the fault lies in the Dodge truck’s driver, Matthew Delcollo, who it alleges was driving in excess of 90 miles per hour—despite the 55 mile per hour limit maximum speeds that the tow dollies were designed for. 

“Driving too fast. Unsafe passing. Punching the gas off on the emergency shoulder,” said Chandler Baily of Lightfoot Franklin White LLC, the defendant’s attorney, in the CVN article. “Poor decisions and no seatbelt. That’s what caused this wreck.” 

According to the CVN article, the trial before Judge Theodore Campagnolo will run through Labor Day.

Maricopa County Superior Court case number CV2016-050917 

Not Just UHAUL the entire Utility, Horse and Boat Trailer industry on purpose and by design...and powerful lobby groups....any trailer just one pound under 3,000 GVWR does not get breaks installed on them! 

Since 1975 Over 27,000 dead and counting by passenger vehicles that tow trailers and tow dolly's.

 In 1971 J. Standard Baker Quoted " Drivers Towing Trailers  Are Four (4) Times As Unsafe As Those In Cars Alone!