The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

TRALA Files Brief Supporting Vicarious Liability Repeal in New York

April 2, 2007

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The federal vicarious liability repeal statue enacted into law in August 2005 adheres to the U.S. Constitution and should be upheld in the New York Court of Appeals, according to the conclusion reached in an amicus brief filed in the appellate division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second Department by TRALA, the Industry Council for Vehicle Renting and Leasing, and the Hertz Corp. The TRALA amicus brief supports an appeal by Nissan Infiniti, LT of the lower court ruling in Graham v. Dunkley and NILT, Inc. In this Sept. 11, 2006 ruling, the court declared the federal vicarious liability preemption statute “an unconstitutional exercise of congressional authority under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.” TRALA, in its brief, argues that rented and leased vehicles are instruments of interstate commerce and that Congress was well within its authority to preempt New York state law regarding the liability attached to such vehicles. The brief also describes the existing regime of federal and state regulations and oversight of the vehicle renting and leasing industry.
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