(Aug. 17, 2012) – Last week, Governor Patrick of Massachusetts signed into law H.B. 4371, which makes void and unenforceable provisions in contracts that require the carrier to assume liability for the shipper’s negligence in Massachusetts.
The state becomes the 35th to enact such legislation, which has spread very quickly. South Dakota, Minnesota, Alabama, and Hawaii enacted such statutes earlier in 2012.
Several jurisdictions began implementing anti-indemnification after industry efforts to expose the problem and protect carriers from being forced to choose between a contract and the liability for incidents that may not be their fault.
The trend of shipper indemnification clauses has moved north, but there is no such legislation to protect carriers yet in Canada — something the the Canadian Trucking Alliance is trying to change.
The CTA, along with the provincial trucking associations, continue to lobby the appropriate levels of government to coordinate action bring about similar laws to Canadian provinces.