skip to Main Content

CONTRACTUAL LIABILITY: Superior Court holds that lessee is not contractually obligated to “defend” lessor

CONTRACTUAL LIABILITY: Superior Court Holds That Lessee Is Not Contractually Obligated To “defend” Lessor

Where an indemnity provision contained within a lease provided that the lessee was required to indemnify the lessor and further provided “this obligation to indemnify shall include reasonable legal costs,” there was no genuine duty to defend.  The court held that the lessor could only seek indemnification, not defense, a loss that would be conditional on a finding of liability against the lessor.  In denying the motion for summary judgment with regard to a crossclaim seeking a defense and indemnification, the court also concluded that it was premature to find that a duty to indemnify existed.  The court stated that it would reserve judgment until “the fact issues necessary to determine whether the plaintiffs will even be successful in establishing liability for the alleged negligence of any defendant in the underlying tort case are resolved at trial.”

Lorenzana v. Hartford Comedy, Inc., 2016 WL 7355974 (Conn. Super. Noble, J.)