Relates to the liability of the state to any person who suffers damage as a result of a defect in a state highway.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the highway law, in relation to the liability of the state for damages suffered due to defects in state highways
PURPOSE: This bill expands the state's liability for defects in state highways, to provide a limited level of liability for damages suffered by individuals outside of the first day of May and the fifteenth day of November.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: amends section 58 of the state highway law to expand the states liability for defects in state highways, to provide limited a level of liability for damages suffered by individuals outside of the first day of May and the fifteenth day of November.
Section 2: sets the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Under current law, individuals who suffer damages due to defects in state highways may pursue these damages only if the incident occurred within the first day of May to November 15, regardless of how egregious or unreasonable the defect may be. Recent reports of three-foot wide potholes and other seemingly unreasonable defects in state highways has prompted us to revisit this statute and provide for more flexibility to better protect New York State motorists.
This bill allows for individuals to pursue damages from the state for egregious or unreasonable defects in state roads all year, while preserving the current liability standard of defects from May to November. This bill continues to protect the state from frivolous or unreasonable lawsuits, while ensuring New York State taxpayers do not have to pay out-of-pocket for damages caused by an affirmative act of negligence by the state or similarly unreasonable defect in a state highway.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6702 IN SENATE February 28, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. KENNEDY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the highway law, in relation to the liability of the state for damages suffered due to defects in state highways THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 58 of the highway law, as amended by chapter 1110 of the laws of 1971, is amended to read as follows: S 58. Liability of state for damages. The state shall not be liable for damages suffered by any person FROM REASONABLY ANTICIPATED DEFECTS IN STATE HIGHWAYS, EXCEPT THE STATE SHALL BE LIABLE FOR DEFECTS FOR WHICH IT HAS BEEN GIVEN ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE from defects in state highways, except between the first day of May and the fifteenth day of November on such highways as are maintained by the state under such system as the commissioner of transportation may adopt pursuant to section twelve OF THIS CHAPTER, but the liability for such damages shall otherwise remain as now provided by law, notwithstanding the construction or improvement and maintenance of such highways by the state under this chapter; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to impose on the state any liability for defects in bridges over which the state has no control. Within the limits of incorporated villages the state shall maintain a width of pavement equal to the width of pavement constructed or improved at the expense of the state, if a state highway, the location of the state's portion of such roadway with- in said incorporated limits to be determined by the center line of the roadway as shown on the plans on file with the department of transporta- tion and the state shall be liable for damages to persons or property only when such damage shall occur as a result of the defective condition of the portion of improved highway as above described. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14211-01-4