President Bush Signs Federal Vicarious Repeal Law
President Bush has signed into law federal legislation eliminating vicarious liability throughout the nation. The new law is now in effect and will save the vehicle leasing and renting industry and its customers billions of dollars through savings in liability awards, attorney’s fees, and supplemental insurance premiums, reported the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA). In 2003, TRALA initiated this latest effort to pass federal legislation effectively repealing vicarious liability nationwide. TRALA brought together industry allies for the fight and formed the Vehicle Renting and Leasing Fairness Alliance (VRLFA). The VRLFA consists of TRALA, the American Automotive Leasing Association, Penske Truck Leasing Co., Ryder System, Inc., Cendant Corp. (Avis/Budget), Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Vanguard Car Rental, and Hertz Corp. TRALA’s Industry Council for Vehicle Renting and Leasing and other industry partners also played strong roles in this legislative victory. Under the new law, sponsored by Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO) as part of the federal highway bill (HR 3), non-negligent companies that lease and rent motor vehicles cannot be held liable for damages to persons or property solely on the basis of ownership. Congress passed the legislation on July 29.