First Department Affirms Summary Judgment In Favor of Defendants on Their Third-Party Indemnification Claims Against Subcontractor

In a decision dated June 8, 2010, the Appellate Division, First Department affirmed the Supreme Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants on their third-party indemnification claims against a subcontractor.  The plaintiff, who was employed by third-party defendant F&R Installers, claimed that he sustained serious personal injuries when he slipped and fell on “black ice” inside a partially enclosed bulkhead while working on the roof of the Bronx Criminal Courthouse.  The defendants successfully demonstrated that the contract between Enclos, the non-party prime contractor, and F&R Installers expressly provided for the indemnification of the owner and construction manager because it incorporated by reference the terms of the contract between the owner and Enclos.  The Appellate Division also found that the contract expressly provided for partial indemnification due to its inclusion of recognized savings language (“to the fullest extent permitted by law”), and thus satisfied General Obligations Law §5-322.1.  Moreover, the Appellate Division found that the owner and construction manager established that no issue of fact existed as to whether they were actively negligent such that full indemnification was appropriate.  The defendants showed that they did not have actual or constructive notice of the condition which caused plaintiff’s injury and they did not exercise any authority over plaintiff’s work on the morning he was injured.

Williams v. City of New York, 74 A.D.3d 479 (1st Dep’t 2010)

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