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South Florida Construction Attorneys
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Indemnity in Construction Contracts Archives

A Contractor May Be Held Liable For Its Supplier's Defective Materials. But That May Not Be The End Of The Story.

Retailers are sometimes held liable for product defects, even though they did nothing more than sell a product without knowledge of its defects. The same thing can happen to contractors and subcontractors. They incorporate the defective work or materials of someone else into their own work and end up being liable to the person to whom they sold the defective work or materials. But, that's not necessarily the end of the story.  Read More . . .

Owner/Contractor Under Duty To Ensure Safe Site

Worthington Communities, Inc., was both the property owner and the general contractor for a condominium project in Fort Meyers. Worthington contracted with Sunshine Masonry, Inc. ("Sunshine") to install forms and pour concrete for structural divisions between floors. The joist system utilized by Sunshine required the placement of steel joists between the exterior masonry walls, stabilized by rollbars around the perimeter of the walls and at intervals along the length of the joists. The wire mesh to be used for reinforcement of the concrete was delivered in 3700-pound bundles. The joist manufacturer's specifications and the blueprint notes indicated that the mesh bundles should not be loaded and stored on the joists until the rollbars were completely installed.  Read On . . .

Be Careful Or You May Have to Indemnity Others For Their Own Negligence

Indemnity obligations are often found in construction contracts. The function of these undertakings, generally speaking, is to pass liability through from one party to the other where one party is actively liable and the other party is vicariously liable. In the construction context, such agreements or clauses may be drafted by a general contractor with the intention of passing through to a subcontractor the liability the general contractor owes to an owner for a loss. This is certainly fair where the indemnitor is actually the party that caused the loss. There exists a common law duty of indemnity where one (e.g. subcontractor) causes the loss and the other (e.g. contractor) is responsible for the loss by contract but did nothing to create the loss. More difficult to accept is an undertaking to indemnify someone from their own negligence. Florida Statute 725.06 imposes a requirement of a commercially reasonable monetary limit with respect to enforceability of the indemnity undertaking by contractors and subs by contract for the other's negligence.  Read more...

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