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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 33147
Experience:  Practicing for over 20 years and handled many cases and trials for consumers.
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I have an issue with a septic removal service that broke my

Customer Question

I have an issue with a septic removal service that broke my driveway.The driver went off my driveway and broke it (created damage).I have a hole and cracks on my driveway.The reason for this is that the accused says "Please keep in mind upon signing our paper work you indemnify the company its employees against any claim, liability or cost arising from our agreement or the use of equipment, including property damage. I am sorry but at this time there is nothing I can do".Is this legal in NJ or anywhere?Thanks,Larry xxxx
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.
An indemnification clause is legal but not always legal, they all have to be judged within the confines of the unique facts of the case and whether the conduct was "foreseeable". For instance, one one extreme if the septic tank removal truck had failed to completely clean the septic tank then it would be on the "lower end" of the spectrum and likely a court would find this would be a foreseeable consequence and covered. If, however, on the other end of the spectrum the worker had been drunk on duty and driven his truck through your living room then the court would likely find it was not covered by the indemnity clause.
One thing that does work in your favor is something known in law as the Scrivener's Rule. This states that if there is any language in a contract or agreement that is vague or ambiguous and the entity that did not draft the agreement offers a reasonable interpretation then that is the one the court must use even if the other party offers an interpretation that is more reasonable. In layman's terms, if you can find a way to read the agreement where it does not excuse their behavior then that is the way the court is supposed to interpret it.
Please ask any follow up questions in this thread.