A bill placing new burdens on businesses, increasing costs while discouraging the voluntary use of surveillance systems, is headed to the state House after clearing a legislative committee.
The bill requires the owner, lessee, or person in control of a premises—defined as a retail establishment, business premises, or commercial property—and with knowledge of an "injury-producing event" to preserve and produce video of the event.
If a business has video surveillance, this bill mandates the preservation and retention of all recordings for a two-year period on the off chance that someone is injured at the premises, regardless of fault.
HB 5467 mandates the costly preservation and retention of all recordings for a two-year period.
CBIA's Louise DiCocco testified against the bill in March, telling committee members it was unnecessary, given laws already on the books.
Encourages Abusive Litigation
"The Connecticut Rules of Practice and Evidence already require the production of surveillance video in premises liability cases and sufficiently balances and protects the rights and interests of all parties involved in any 'injury producing' event," she said.
"This bill puts an onerous new burden on business."
DiCocco said there are also concerns this bill will encourage abusive litigation.
The legislation, with its expensive mandates for video retention, requires businesses to essentially preserve and review hours of surveillance recordings, based on the mere possibility of a future lawsuit.
This gives businesses that have video or electronic surveillance systems less incentive to continue using it, and also discourages any business from acquiring video or electronic surveillance system, DiCocco said.
"HB 5467 has broad implications for business and is unnecessary," she said. "The rules of evidence already provide rules for preclusion within a judge's discretion.
"This law simply adds an unnecessary time limitation on an already scheduled area of discovery."