Construction Law

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Indemnity Claims in Kansas

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, indemnity is defined as “protection against possible damage or loss, esp. a promise of payment, or the money paid if there is such damage or loss.” The State of Kansas Construction Law Compendium explains the rules regarding indemnity claims in the Sunflower State. It’s important for contractors in Kansas to familiarize themselves with these rules to avoid having liability unfairly shifted to them when a dispute arises. In this brief article, a Wichita construction lawyer will discuss everything you should know about indemnity claims in Kansas. 

Express Indemnity

Express indemnity is a type of contractual obligation in which one party is held harmless for any damages that arise from various circumstances. If you’re on the wrong end of express indemnity, you could be held responsible for any breaches of contract, regardless of whether or not you were at fault. Express indemnity must be clear and unambiguous to be upheld in court. If it meets this vital piece of criteria, it will be enforced under the terms and conditions of the contract per Nolde v. Hamm Asphalt, Inc., 202 F.Supp.2d 1257, 1266 (D. Kan. 2002). However, any provision that forces one party to indemnify the other when that party’s negligence was the catalyst for a dispute will be disavowed under Kansas law.

Implied Contractual Indemnity

When one party is compelled to make reimbursements for problems arising from the negligence of another party, it is called “implied contractual indemnity.” This type of situation is common for projects that have multiple subcontractors working at the behest of a contractor. Typically, it calls for contractors to not be held responsible for subcontractor negligence if their contract stipulates that the subcontractor is responsible for quality and scope of work for a portion of a project. Unfortunately, contracts aren’t always black and white, and determining the party at fault can be difficult when one party claims implied contractual indemnity. If you are currently embroiled in a contractual dispute, consult a Wichita construction lawyer from Cotney Attorneys & Consultants.

Comparative Implied Indemnity

Schaefer v. Horizon Bldg. Corp., 26 Kan.App.2d 401, 985 P.2d 723, syl. 1 (1999) states: “Comparative implied indemnity is an equitable remedy available to a single defendant among a number of tortfeasors, who by settling with the plaintiff or paying a judgment, pay the other tortfeasors’ share of liability.” 

Comparative implied indemnity is another complex facet of indemnification that should be approached with the help of a Wichita construction attorney. This concept applies to cases where a defendant has already paid damages for another party but hasn’t been recompensed accordingly through joinder. 

If you would like to speak with a Wichita construction attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.