NYBFAA Opposes Contract Legislation
New York Senate Bill Threatens to Void Critical Contract Terms
Irving, Texas, April 12, 2010 - The New York Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NYBFAA), along with the Electronic Security Association (ESA), is urging opposition to Senate bill 2074 which recently passed the New York Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill would declare "˜void and unenforceable' certain contract terms indemnifying or exempting manufacturers, sellers and/or monitors of burglary protection systems from liability for negligence.
"The bill would have a devastating effect on insurance creating a deteriorating situation for security alarm dealers and monitoring companies where insurance could become scarce or unavailable. Many small businesses would be forced to close their doors and those remaining would be forced to charge such a premium for their services that alarm systems would become unaffordable for most homes and businesses," said Tim Creenan of Amherst Alarm in Amherst, NY and NYBFAA legislative chairman.
This is not the first time this bill has been brought to the New York Senate Judiciary Committee. NYBFAA fought off an attempt to pass a similar bill last year.
Most concerning to NYBFAA and ESA is that the legislation threatens to make alarm monitoring services unaffordable to the general public and if passed could have devastating consequences not only in New York, but throughout the country. Additionally, the associations view the new legislation as unnecessary. Currently, a contract which grants an exemption from liability for a willful or grossly negligent act is already void.
"State bills in California and New York have a tendency to be copied by other states in rapid order. If this bill survives the year-long session in New York, it will generate copycat bills in the 2011 state legislative sessions nationwide. This bill is a real threat to the security industry and we need to stop it," said John Chwat, ESA's Director of Government Relations.
Formerly the NBFAA, the Electronic Security Association (ESA) is the largest and longest established trade association representing the electronic life safety and security industry. Member companies install, integrate and monitor intrusion and fire detection, video surveillance and electronic access control systems for commercial, residential, industrial and governmental clients. In cooperation with an alliance of chapter associations, ESA provides technical and management training, government advocacy and delivers information, advice, tools, and services that members use to grow their businesses and prosper. ESA may be reached at (888) 447-1689 or on the Web at www.ESAweb.org.