When damage is caused to a highway by a private contractor due to their equipment not utilizing proper pavement protections, who is liable and responsible for damages?
In New York State, any party who causes injury (damage) to a public highway or bridge by moving or operating equipment that, through its weight, damages the structure or surface of the road liable. Furthermore, the party at fault is potentially liable for triple the amount of the actual damage caused.
§ 320. Injuries to highways. Whoever shall injure any highway or bridge maintained at the public expense, by obstructing or diverting any creek, water-course or sluice, or by dragging logs or timber on its surface or by drawing or propelling over the same a load of such weight as to injure or destroy the culverts or bridges along the same, or of such weight that will destroy, break or injure the surface of any
improved state highway, county road or town highway, or by any other act, or shall injure, deface or destroy any mile-stone or guide-post erected on any highway, shall for every such offense forfeit treble damages.
New York Consolidated Laws, Highway Law - HAY § 320. Injuries to highways