N.Y. Bills Threaten Limitations of Liability Clauses in Alarm Contracts

The New York State Assembly is considering legislation that has the potential to void all exculpatory clauses in any contract, while a second bill could void all exculpatory clauses in alarm contracts. Both bills may affect the protections afforded by Limitation of Liabilities clauses, according to the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA).

Assembly Bill 608, which was approved February 11, voids agreements exempting parties, their agents, servants or employees, from liability for damages caused by their negligence, as against public policy.

A similar Senate bill would declare void and unenforceable contract terms indemnifying or exempting manufacturers or sellers of burglary protection systems from liability for negligence. The bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee, which will meet again in several weeks.

According to the CSAA, fire alarm professionals operating in New York would not be able to get general liability insurance or, if it is available at all, the premiums could increase significantly.

The New York Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NYBFAA) has developed a “Memorandum in Opposition” which can be downloaded here. A sample letter to the Senators from NYBFAA Past President Tim Creenan is available here.

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