BILL NO A09496
SAME AS SAME AS S06702-B
Amd S58, Hway L
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 state
liability for defects in 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
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends section 58 of the state highway law to
expand the states liability for defects in state highways, to provide
a 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 is 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 highlight the need to modify this statute
and provide for more flexibility to better protect New York State
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
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
I N A S S E M B L Y
May 5, 2014
Introduced by M. of A. ABINANTI -- read once and referred to the Commit-
tee on Transportation
AN ACT to amend the highway law, in relation to state liability for
defects in highways
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
1 Section 1. Section 58 of the highway law, as amended by chapter 1110
2 of the laws of 1971, is amended to read as follows:
3 S 58. Liability of state for damages. The state shall [not] be liable
4 for damages suffered by any person from defects in state highways[,
5 except] MAINTAINED BY THE STATE UNDER SUCH SYSTEM AS THE COMMISSIONER OF
6 TRANSPORTATION MAY ADOPT PURSUANT TO SECTION TWELVE OF THIS CHAPTER (1)
7 between the first day of May and the fifteenth day of November [on such
8 highways as are maintained by the state under such system as the commis-
9 sioner of transportation may adopt pursuant to section twelve, but the]
10 AND (2) BETWEEN THE SIXTEENTH DAY OF NOVEMBER AND THE THIRTIETH DAY OF
11 APRIL FOR DEFECTS FOR WHICH IT HAS BEEN GIVEN ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE
12 NOTICE. THE liability for such damages shall otherwise remain as now
13 provided by law, notwithstanding the construction or improvement and
14 maintenance of such highways by the state under this chapter; but noth-
15 ing herein contained shall be construed to impose on the state any
16 liability for defects in bridges over which the state has no control.
17 Within the limits of incorporated villages the state shall maintain a
18 width of pavement equal to the width of pavement constructed or improved
19 at the expense of the state, if a state highway, the location of the
20 state's portion of such roadway within said incorporated limits to be
21 determined by the center line of the roadway as shown on the plans on
22 file with the department of transportation and the state shall be liable
23 for damages to persons or property only when such damage shall occur as
24 a result of the defective condition of the portion of improved highway
25 as above described.
26 S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to any
27 cause of action that accrues on or after such effective date.
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.