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Legislative Memo

T 518.465.7517

BILL:

S.397-A (Johnson)

Support

SUBJECT:

Vicarious Liability

 

DATE:

March 3, 2003

 

The Business Council of New York State, Inc., whose membership includes companies, chambers of commerce, and associations, has reviewed the aforementioned legislation is proud to strongly support its enactment.

The proposal provides that the lessor of a motor vehicle for a term of more than one year shall be deemed to be the owner of such vehicle for the purposes of civil liability for the damage caused by the use of such motor vehicle.

This piece of legislation is absolutely essential for the survival of our leasing companies in New York State, since New York is the only state in the nation where leasing firms are held fully liable for the actions of others.

The impact of this law is that judgments and court costs have skyrocketed for the companies in this market. Further, these same companies can no longer find the needed insurance coverage to help offset these costs. As a result of this situation several companies have either left the state or gone out of business entirely.

Finally, this proposal brings New York's Statute more in line with not only other states but other similar transactions. Individuals who finance their vehicles through leases would be placed under the same standard as those who finance through borrowing.

For the above stated reasons, The Business Council strongly supports S. 397 and asks that it be acted upon favorably.