The New Jersey state Senate passed the bill 181, authored by Senator Christopher Bateman(Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset), by a vote of 35-0 on January 23, 2017.
The bill, if passed by the Assembly and signed into law by the Governor, will render void and unenforceable any indemnification/hold harmless language in a contract with a snowplow vendor. This bill will not apply to the State or any municipal government.
Passage of New Jersey Senate bill 181 will have dire consequences for community associations. If passed, no longer can liability be imputed to a snow vendor for its negligent work. So, if a person slips and falls in a community association, and subsequently sues, the community association can no longer seek indemnification from the snow vendor – the party most likely responsible for the injury. This bill fully insulates the snow vendor from any liability UNLESS the snow vendor is given full authority to take all necessary action to “maintain the property.”
A companion Assembly bill, A3656, authored by Assemblyman Joseph Langana(Bergen and Passaic), has been referred to the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.