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Indemnification for construction contracts

Griswold Ready Mix Concrete, Inc. v. Reddick, LLC, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D869 (Fla. 1st DCA April 12, 2012). Holding:  Indemnity provision in lease for pump truck was unenforceable pursuant to Section 725.06, Florida Statutes.

Facts:  Griswold leased a pump truck from Pumpco to deliver cement to a residential construction project.  Pumpco completed and gave Griswold a work order for the job which included a board form indemnification provision stating that Griswold would indemnify Pumpco and its agents from all claims.  The provision did not contain a monetary limit of liability.

Tony Reddick was injured on the project when the hose from the pump truck hit him and knocked him to the ground.  Reddick filed a complaint alleging negligence against Griswold and Pumpco.  Pumpco settled with Reddick and then filed a cross-claim against Griswold for contractual indemnification.  Griswold argued that the indemnification provision was void under Section 725.06, Florida Statutes, because there was no monetary limit.  The trial court found the indemnification provision was valid and that the statute only applies to construction contracts in which one party is the owner.

The First District rejected Pumpco’s argument that the statute only applies to contracts between an owner of real property and any combination of the other parties listed in the statute.  The Court stated the phrase “or any combination thereof” did not limit the statutes operation.  The Court interpreted the phrase to mean that if any combination of the parties named therein contracts for indemnification, the provision must include a monetary limit of liability.  Thus, the Court held the indemnification provision in the lease was void and unenforceable because it did not contain a monetary limit as required by Section 725.06, Florida Statutes.

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