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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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I am named in a civil case for a slip and fall. I am an owner

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I am named in a civil case for a slip and fall. I am an owner of a business that rents its facilities for events. I have in my contract an indemnity that the renters are to free my company from any injury during the event. Am I ok? They named me in their liability

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Customer:

Hi

Brandon M. :

Hi, thank you for your question.

Customer:

no thank you for answering

Brandon M. :

Do you happen to have a copy of the indemnity clause in your possession at this time?

Customer:

yes let me attach it

Brandon M. :

Certainly.

Customer:

Hmm I can't seem to find it in my email

Customer:

let me see if I have a copy of another

Brandon M. :

Take your time. If you can't find it, we can work around it.

Customer:

I can

Customer:

I can't find it right now

Brandon M. :

No problem. Where did the indemnification language originate? Did an attorney draft it for you?

Customer:

10. Indemnity.
Renter hereby agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Lessor, and Lessor’s officers, directors, partners,
shareholders, employees, agents, contractors, invitees, subcontractors and its subsidiaries and affiliated
companies, free and harmless from and against any and all losses, claims, liens, demands and causes of action
of every kind and character, including the amount of judgments, penalties, interests, court costs and legal fees
incurred by Lessor in defense thereof, arising in favor of any party, governmental agency or bodies on account of
taxes, claims, liens, debts, property damage, personal injuries to or death of persons, including employees of
Lessor, and without limitation by numeration, all other claims or demands of every character occurring or in any
way incident to, in conjunction with, or arising directly or indirectly, actively or passively, out of performance or
nonperformance of Lessee hereunder, including those that relate, pertain and concern the Rental Event excepting
only claims resulting from the sole negligence, or sole willful misconduct of Lessor or Lessor’s officers, directors,
partners, shareholders, employees, agents, contractors, or subcontractors. Lessee further agrees to investigate,
handle, respond to, provide defense for and defend against any such claim, demand or suite, for which it is
required to indemnify Lessor pursuant hereto at its cost and expense, and agrees to hear all other costs and
expenses related thereto, even if such claim, demand or suit is groundless, false or fraudulent.

Customer:

I got it from another event facility

Brandon M. :

Thanks.

Brandon M. :

Well, that's definitely an indemnification clause. Going back to your original question, what I can tell you is that indemnification clauses can be enforceable in California and it's not uncommon for a renter to demand and receive indemnification from someone using their equipment or facilities. The biggest problem that you tend to encounter is when the party bound to indemnify the other is insolvent.

Brandon M. :

The indemnitee is the party that is indemnified. The indemnitor is the party promising indemnification.

Brandon M. :

Indemnification doesn't release the indemnitee of liability--it gives the indemnitor responsibility to cover the indemnitee.

Brandon M. :

So if the indemnitor is insolvent and the indemnitee is responsible, then indemnitee is still liable for whatever portion of the damages the indemnitor can't cover.

Brandon M. :

If the indemnitee is not found to be responsible (when someone sues, they typically sue everyone under the sun and their brother just to see what sticks), or if the indemnitor is solvent, the indemnitee is covered.

Brandon M. :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

Simple terms? LOL...sorry...legal stuff

Brandon M. :

Sorry... :-)

Customer:

What if my renter names me under his liability insurance?

Brandon M. :

Basically, an indemnification clause works, but if the person indemnifying you can't pay, you're still on the hook.

Customer:

His insurance should cover me right?

Customer:

I no longer own the business.

Brandon M. :

Then assuming the renter was up to date on his insurance premium, you would expect that his insurance would cover you. You'd have to examine the insurance policy to know for certain, but you would be covered if you assume that it is like most every other insurance policy out there.

Customer:

Ok....yes I always asked the parties to get liability insurance prior to the event.

Customer:

I also have safety records and an omission and witnesses that the person was drunk and tripped over a step.

Customer:

That party was 2 years ago on June 4th.

Brandon M. :

It sounds like you're a step ahead of most other people. Liability insurance, indemnification clause in your contract... So many people wish they had thought of those things only after it is too late.

Customer:

Whew....I am so glad....what are the chances of this lady winning? We had lighted steps, signs, etc.

Customer:

I called her after the report and she claimed only her pride was hurt.

Brandon M. :

Unfortunately, I am not in a position to make a responsible estimate of her chances of winning. I have one piece of one half of a story involving a civil complaint I have not read, people I have not met, and a facility I have not seen. Even I wouldn't trust an estimate under those circumstances. Sorry :-S

Customer:

oh no...sorry. Well thank you so much! It's so unfortunate because this was a guest at a wedding that is suing the bride and groom....

Customer:

You take care! Thanks for easing my mind.

Brandon M. :

It was my pleasure. Take care.

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