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Court of Appeals Avows Partial Indemnification

October 22, 2008

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In Brooks v. Judlau Contracting, Inc., plaintiff ironworker employed by third-party defendant Thunderbird Constructors, Inc., fell 18 feet due to a safety cable improperly installed by Judlau, the general contractor. With no grave injury sustained by plaintiff, both the trial court and appellate court dismissed Judlau's third-party complaint for contractual indemnification as it was deemed unenforceable due to Judlau's active negligence.
The Court of Appeals reversed this decision. Answering the question left open in Itri Brick & Concrete Corp. v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., 89 NY2d 786, 658 N.Y.S.2d 903 (1997), the Court of Appeals found that §5-322.1 of the General Obligations Law allows for partial indemnification so long as the indemnification provision does not purport to indemnify a party for its own negligence.
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