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CONTRACTUAL INDEMNITY: Superior Court holds subcontractor had a duty to defend contractor arising out of indemnification paragraph of construction contract

CONTRACTUAL INDEMNITY: Superior Court Holds Subcontractor Had A Duty To Defend Contractor Arising Out Of Indemnification Paragraph Of Construction Contract

A Bridgeport Superior Court Judge held that subcontractor had a duty to defend a contractor arising out of a duty to defend and indemnify paragraph of a construction contract entered into by the parties.

The court reasoned that the duty to defend depends on the allegations of the plaintiff’s amended complaint and whether the allegations “arose out of” the work of the subcontractor based on the language of the contract.  The court further reasoned that Connecticut General Statutes § 52-572k, while barring indemnification for a party’s negligence in construction contracts, is silent as to the duty to defend and therefore does not bar a duty to defend.

The court found that the subcontractor owed the contractor damages equal to legal fees paid in relation to defense of the plaintiff’s claim, starting on date upon which subcontractor became aware of claim against contractor.  The court further found no right to legal fees for prosecution of a cross-claim against the subcontractor.

Heath Henderson v. Bismark Construction Company, Inc., Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield at Bridgeport, Docket No. CV17-6062488S (July 10, 2019, Stewart, J.)