fbpx Skip to content

ACCIDENT LAW: Appellate Court holds that neither common law indemnity nor contractual indemnity applied to negligent investigation

The Appellate Court affirms judgment for a third party defendant.  The claim arose out of sexual harassment of the third party defendant’s employee by a security company employee.  Suit was brought by the female employee against the security company and the harassing employee.

In finding no merit in the security company’s common law indemnity claim, the court noted that while the plaintiff’s employer could not have been in exclusive control of the dangerous condition – the security company employee – as required to state such a claim.

As to the contractual indemnity claim by the security company against the plaintiff’s employer, the contract stated that the employer would indemnify the security company “from and against any and all losses, claims, damages, expenses, fees, settlements, penalties and attorneys’ fees arising out of or resulting from any third party’s claim relating to the gross negligence or willful misconduct by [the plaintiff’s employer].”

Since there was no claim of willful misconduct by the employer the sole issue was gross negligence.  “Our review of both the complaint and the record reveals that Securitas has failed to establish the existence of a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Affinion acted in a grossly negligent manner, within the scope of the contractual indemnification provision. Rather, the record before us demonstrates, convincingly, that Affinion diligently and thoroughly investigated the claims of harassment by Valente. The details of Affinion’s prophylactic and investigatory efforts, described previously, need not be repeated. Therefore, given Affinion’s efforts, no reasonable jury could have found that the manner in which Affinion investigated the sexual harassment of Valente was grossly negligent.”

Valente v. Securitas Sec. Servs., USA, Inc., 152 Conn. App. 196 (2014)