Pennsylvania Adopts ASCA’s Model Legislation

New law protects snow professionals from having liability needlessly passed on to them through the contract’s indemnification clause.

Great news for Pennsylvania’s professional snow and ice management community. On Tuesday, July 12, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 1665 into law and the Keystone State added its name to the states that have adopted the Accredited Snow Contractors Association’s Model Legislation
To date, Illinois, Colorado, and Connecticut have adopted the ASCA’s model legislation, and it is under consideration in several other snow states.

House Bill 1665, The Commercial Snow Removal Limited Liability Act, the association – with the support of Pennsylvania’s snow and ice management community -- have been working on for years, says Kevin Gilbride, ASCA Executive Director.

“It has definitely been a long road to get to this goal line,” Gilbride says. “This experience has been an awesome example of how powerful an industry’s grassroots effort can be in advocating for real legislative change in their state. A special thank you goes out to Pennsylvania snow professionals Stephanie Sauers (Sauers Snow and Ice, Philadelphia) and Chuck Lantzman (Snow & Ice Management, Pittsburgh), whose support of this effort was above and beyond.

“The bill was sponsored by Representative Christopher Quinn from Delaware County,” Gilbride added. “Chris’ support and dedication to getting the ASCA’s model legislation adopted in his state was critical, and a heartfelt thanks goes out to him.

The law prohibits property owners and manager from passing on their liability to the snow contractor through the indemnification clause in a contract. For example, property owners and managers can no longer give a snow professional a 2-inch trigger and have the contractor hold all the liability for a slip-and-fall claim. The way the law is written, snow professionals must have their contract terms in writing to take effect. This, of course, is an industry best practice.

“This statute requires property owner to take reasonable care of their property in a reasonable time frame,” Gilbride added. “Property owners are using indemnification clauses and hold harmless agreements to skirt this law, putting all liability on the contractor. The ASCA’s model legislation fixes this.”

The ASCA is scheduling educational seminars in mid-August about the new law -- one in Pittsburgh and an another in Philadelphia. The seminars will review the impact this law will have on Pennsylvania’s snow and ice management professionals and how contractors can adopt this new law into their snow and ice management sales and operations. The ASCA will announce registration details soon.
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