Maryland law nixes shippers’ ‘hold harmless’ clauses

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Maryland Gov. Martin O’ Malley recently signed HB898, which prohibits shippers in the state from including “hold harmless” clauses in their contracts with motor carriers. The new law, which takes effect in October, will prevent carriers from becoming insurer for the shipper, according to the Maryland Motor Truck Association.

Previously, some shippers had required signed indemnity agreements before carriers were permitted to enter loading facilities, essentially forcing truckers to hold shippers harmless before allowed to transport freight.

O’Malley, a Democrat, signed the bill April 10. Other states that have enacted similar measures include Indiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.