New York State Law

Navigation Law

Consolidated Laws of New York's NAV code

Laws of New York

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NYS Navigation Law - Vessels

NEGLIGENCE IN USE OR OPERATION

Section Description
48 Negligence in use or operation of vessel attributable to owner.
  S 48. Negligence  in use or operation of vessel attributable to owner.
  1. Every owner of a vessel used or operated upon the navigable waters of
  the state or any tidewaters bordering on or lying within the  boundaries
  of  Nassau  and  Suffolk  counties,  shall be liable and responsible for
  death or injuries to person or property resulting from negligence in the
  use or operation of such vessel, in  the  business  of  such  owner,  or
  otherwise,   by  any  person  using  or  operating  the  same  with  the
  permission, express or implied, of such owner.
    The use or operation by a non-resident or non-residents of a vessel in
  this state, or the use or operation in this state of  a  vessel  in  the
  business  of  a non-resident, or the use or operation in this state of a
  vessel owned  by  a  non-resident  if  so  used  or  operated  with  his
  permission,  express  or  implied,  shall  be  deemed  equivalent  to an
  appointment by such non-resident of the secretary of  state  to  be  his
  true  and  lawful  attorney  upon  whom may be served the summons in any
  action against him, growing out of any accident or  collision  in  which
  such  non-resident  may be involved while using or operating such vessel
  in this state or in which such vessel may be involved while  being  used
  or  operated  in this state in the business of such non-resident or with
  the permission, express or implied, of such non-resident owner; and such
  use or operation shall be a signification of his agreement that any such
  summons against him which is so served shall be of the same legal  force
  and  validity as if served on him personally within the state and within
  the territorial jurisdiction of the court from which the summons issues,
  and that such appointment of the secretary of state shall be irrevocable
  and binding upon his executor or administrator. Where such  non-resident
  has died prior to the commencement of an action brought pursuant to this
  section,   service   of  process  shall  be  made  on  the  executor  or
  administrator of such non-resident in the same manner and  on  the  same
  notice  as is provided in the case of the non-resident himself. Where an
  action has been duly commenced under  the  provisions  of  this  section
  against  a  non-resident  who  dies thereafter, the court must allow the
  action to be continued against his executor or administrator upon motion
  with such notice as the court may deem proper.
    2. A summons in an action described in this section may issue  in  any
  court  in  the  state  having  jurisdiction of the subject matter and be
  served as hereinafter provided. Service of such summons shall be made by
  mailing a copy thereof to the secretary of state at his  office  in  the
  city of Albany, or by personally delivering a copy thereof to one of his
  regularly  established  offices,  with  a  fee  of ten dollars, and such
  service shall be sufficient service upon such non-resident provided that
  notice of such service and a copy  of  the  summons  and  complaint  are
  forthwith  sent  by  or  on  behalf of the plaintiff to the defendant by
  registered mail with return receipt requested. The plaintiff shall  file
  with  the clerk of the court in which the action is pending, or with the
  judge or justice of such court in case there be no clerk,  an  affidavit
  of  compliance herewith, a copy of the summons and complaint, and either
  a return receipt purporting to be signed by the defendant  or  a  person
  qualified  to  receive his registered mail, in accordance with the rules
  an customs of the post-office department; or, if acceptance was  refused
  by  the defendant or his agent, the original envelope bearing a notation
  by the postal authorities that receipt was refused, and an affidavit  by
  or  on  behalf  of the plaintiff that notice of such mailing and refusal
  was forthwith sent to the defendant by ordinary mail. Where the  summons
  is  mailed to a foreign country, other official proof of the delivery of
  the mail may be filed in case the post-office department  is  unable  to
  obtain such a return receipt. The foregoing papers shall be filed within
  thirty days after the return receipt or other official proof of delivery
  or  the original envelope bearing a notation of refusal, as the case may
  be, is received by the plaintiff. Service of process shall  be  complete
  ten  days  after  such  papers  are  filed.  The return receipt or other
  official  proof  of  delivery shall constitute presumptive evidence that
  the summons mailed was received by the defendant or a  person  qualified
  to  receive  his  registered  mail;  and  the  notation or refusal shall
  constitute presumptive evidence that the refusal was by the defendant or
  his agent. Service of such summons also may be made by  mailing  a  copy
  thereof  to the secretary of state at this office in the city of Albany,
  or by personally delivering a copy  thereof  to  one  of  his  regularly
  established  offices,  with  a  fee  of ten dollars, and by delivering a
  duplicate copy thereof, with  the  complaint  annexed  thereto,  to  the
  defendant  personally  without the state by a resident or citizen of the
  state of  New  York  or  a  sheriff,  under-sheriff,  deputy-sheriff  or
  constable  of  the  county  or  other political subdivision in which the
  personal service is made, or an officer authorized by the laws  of  this
  state,  to  take acknowledgements of deeds to be recorded in this state,
  or an attorney and/or counselor at law, solicitor, advocate or barrister
  duly qualified to practice in the state or country where such service is
  made, or by a United States marshal or  deputy  United  States  marshal.
  Proof  of  personal  service  without  the state shall be filed with the
  clerk of the court in which the action is  pending  within  thirty  days
  after  such  service. Personal service without the state is complete ten
  days after proof thereof is filed. The court  in  which  the  action  is
  pending  may  order  such  extensions  as may be necessary to afford the
  defendant reasonable opportunity to defend the action.
    Nothing herein shall  be  construed  as  affecting  other  methods  of
  service of process against non-residents as provided by law.
    3.  As  used  in  this  section  "vessel" means a vessel as defined in
  section two, subdivision six of this chapter, except a vessel  having  a
  valid  marine  document  issued  by  the  United  States  or  a  foreign
  government.
    4. As used in this section, "owner" means any person other than a lien
  holder having the property in or title to a vessel, and also any  lessee
  or  bailee having the exclusive use thereof, under a lease or otherwise,
  for a period greater than thirty days, and their  liability  under  this
  section,  shall  be  joint  and  several.  If  a  vessel be sold under a
  contract of conditional sale whereby the title to such vessel remains in
  the vendor, such vendor or his assignee shall  not,  after  delivery  of
  such  vessel,  be deemed an owner within the provisions of this section,
  but the vendee or his assignee, receiving possession thereof,  shall  be
  deemed  such owner notwithstanding the terms of such contract, until the
  vendor or his assignee shall  retake  possession  of  such  vessel.    A
  chattel  mortgagee,  conditional  vendor,  or an entruster as defined by
  section fifty-one of the personal property law, of  any  vessel  out  of
  possession,  shall  not be deemed an owner within the provisions of this
  section.
    5. All bonds executed by or policies of insurance issued to the  owner
  of  any vessel subject to the provisions of this section shall contain a
  provision  for  indemnity  or  security  against   the   liability   and
  responsibility provided in this section; but this provision shall not be
  construed  as requiring that such a policy include insurance against any
  liability of the insured, being an individual, for death of or  injuries
  to his or her spouse or injury to property of either.
    6.  This section shall not be construed to affect any of the rights of
  an owner under the laws of the United States.

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