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April 10, 2012 9:30 AM, EDT

New Minn. Law Grants Liability Protection to Truckers

Minnesota has become the second state this year to pass a law that says shippers cannot include provisions in their contracts that make truckers liable for any accident, regardless of who is at fault.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed the new law last week, two days after the State Senate passed the bill on a unanimous vote. The March 29 House vote also was unanimous.

On Feb. 24, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed that state’s new trucking anti-indemnification law.

In all, 32 states have passed anti-indemnification laws, largely due to an effort begun in 2008 by American Trucking Associations’ insurance task force to protect truckers from having to choose between a load and liability.

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

Minnesota truckers tried two years ago to win contract protection, but after the legislature passed a bill prohibiting shippers from indemnifying carriers, then-governor Tim Pawlenty vetoed the measure.