Why You Should Pay Attention to Indemnity Clauses in Construction Contracts

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In a Daily Journal of Commerce column, Stoel Rives construction and design law attorney Bart Reed discusses recent changes to Washington State law that expands indemnitor protection against broad exculpatory indemnity clauses in construction and motor carrier transportation contracts. Among the myriad terms of a construction or design contract, the indemnity provision holds the potential for the most dramatic impact on the parties.

As of June 7, the Washington Legislature has made the following changes to the statute to expand protection against these types of indemnity clauses:

  • Extending protection against "sole negligence" indemnity agreements to design professionals (specifically including architects, engineers, landscape architects and land surveyors).
  • Clarifying the term "indemnify" to include "the duty and cost to defend."
  • Expanding protection against these indemnity agreements to include construction, design or motor transport services.

Read the full discussion on the Daily Journal of Commerce website.

“Why You Should Pay Attention to Indemnity Clauses in Construction Contracts ” was published by the Daily Journal of Commerce on June 14, 2012.

Key Contributors

Bart W. Reed
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