Gov. Andrew Cuomo Makes Anti-Indemnification Law in New York

Peter Foley/Bloomberg News
More than four months after both houses of New York’s Legislature unanimously passed a bill to make the state the 45th to establish an anti-indemnification motor carrier law, Gov. Andrew Cuomo finally signed the measure into law on Nov. 4.

Thirty nine states have enacted similar legislation during the past decade. The only states which haven’t are Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Anti-indemnification is important to trucking companies, especially smaller carriers, as protection against the economic power of shippers and other parties who might otherwise be able to contractually shift liability for their own fault onto the carrier.

“The Trucking Association of New York appreciates Gov. Cuomo acting to enact this important legislation,” TANY Executive Director Kendra Hems told Transport Topics. “The legislation remedies the loophole in law which had made it both legal and common practice to hold motor carriers liable for all damage regardless of fault.  The new law will provide relief, in particular for smaller carriers, from these onerous shipping contract provisions.  It levels the playing field by ensuring the responsible party be held accountable for damages and liabilities.”