Two Conflicting Court of Appeals Opinions on Indemnity Clauses

Amicus Curious

In my judgment, this Court of Appeals opinion construes a contractual indemnity clause too narrowly in reversing a trial court’s judgment forcing the indemnitor to pay reasonable settlement value of a plaintiff’s premises liability suit.

The indemnitee was a trust (the Trust), which owned the commercial property upon which the accident that was the basis for the underlying liability suit occurred.  The Trust entered into a contract for an addition to its commercial property.  The general contractor sub-contracted the fire suppression work out to Brigade Fire Protection, Inc., the indemnitor (Brigade).  Brigade executed a contract with an indemnity clause in which it agreed to “defend, indemnify and hold harmless…the Trust…from and against allclaims, damages, losses, demands, liens, payments, suits, actions, recoveries, judgments, and expenses, including attorneys’ fees…which are made, brought or recovered…by reason of or resulting from, but not limited to, any injury

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About cjtucker06

Owner of law firm since July 2014; Handles all types of appellate matters and assists other lawyers with complex litigation and insurance coverage issues; Admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the State Bar of Michigan; Expertise in prosecuting and defending appeals with several significant successes in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals; Author of briefs amicus curiae in the Michigan Supreme Court for the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel and the Insurance Institute of Michigan; Represents Insurance Companies, Major International Business, Governmental Entities, Law Enforcement Officers and County Sheriffs. Board of Directors, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Amicus Committee Co-Chair, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Military - Retired Major in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps of the United States Army, Brigade Judge Advocate and Staff JAG officer for the Maneuver Training Center, Camp Grayling, Michigan; Recipient of the Army's Meritorious Service Medal (the highest medal of honor available to Soldiers serving in non-combat roles); 2012 Graduate of the Judge Advocate Officer Advanced Course, at The Judge Advocate Legal Center and School, Charlottesville, Virginia. United States Navy Reserves, Combat Warfare Qualification, January 1989 to July 2003 Former law clerk to Justice Stephen J. Markman, Michigan Supreme Court, Research Attorney, Michigan Court of Appeals. Insurance Coverage Associate Plunkett Cooney; Environmental Law Attorney at Squire Sanders, now Squire Patton Boggs; Master's Degree in Environmental Law; Environmental Law Scholar, ALI/ABA Washington, D.C., Juris Doctorate, Vermont Law School, Environmental Editor, Vermont Law Review; Treasurer and Finalist, Moot Court Advisory Board.
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