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August 14, 2012 5:00 PM, EDT

Mass. Becomes 35th State to Pass Legislation Protecting Truckers

Massachusetts has become the 35th state to enact legislation to protect carriers from having to sign shipping contracts that require them to assume all liability, regardless of whether an accident is their fault.

Gov. Deval Patrick (D) signed the anti-indemnification bill on Aug. 10.

Four other states — South Dakota, Minnesota, Alabama, and Hawaii — have also passed legislation this year protecting truckers from such contracts.

In 2008 the insurance task force of American Trucking Associations decided to make liability protection a priority. Carriers had been reporting that more and more shippers were making them choose between accepting liability and getting a contact.

At that time, only 12 states had anti-indemnification statutes on their law books.