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Conditional Indemnification: Some Get it, Some Don't.

November 12, 2010

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In <i>Vovchik v. Metropolitan Development Partners, II, LLC</i>, the plaintiff, an employee of High-Rise was injured when he fell into a 10-12 foot ditch while wheeling along an 80-pound concrete core-drilling machine at a construction site. Metropolitan was the owner, Gotham was the general contractor, and High-Rise was its subcontractor. In its contract with Gotham, High-Rise agreed to indemnify Metropolitan and Gotham. Accordingly, the court stated that Metropolitan and Gothem could be indemnified if they were not negligent. With respect to the Metropolitan, its only involvement was weekly progress updates. Accordingly, the court found that Metropolitan could not have been negligent, and granted it an award of conditional indemnification. Gotham, however, created a ramp at the site that plaintiff had to avoid while wheeling the machine. As such, a jury could find it liable for plaintiff's accident to some extent. Accordingly, the court denied its motion for conditional indemnification against High-Rise.

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