A strong indemnification clause in a construction contract recently protected the state of Louisiana from paying damages in a highway tort suit. In Robinson v. State (Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit), although the state was found liable for the hazardous shoulder that caused the plaintiff's injuries it nevertheness did not have to pay any portion of the plaintiffs awards which exceeded $350.000. The suit charged that Louisiana Paving, which was under contract to the state to widen and resurface a 10-mile stretch of highway, was negligent for not correcting the hazard since its contract provided for maintenance during construction. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), the suit charged, owed a fundamental duty to the public to maintain the highway in a reasonably safe condition. However, the contract clause protected the state. The trial judge found only negligence on the part of Louisiana Paving. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that a contract could not absolve DOTD of its duty to the public to correct hazards. Nonetheless, DOTD contended that it was entitled to indemnity from Louisiana Paving for any damages it was obligated to pay the plaintiff's per its contract. The Court agreed since liability of the state would not have occurred had Louisiana Paving properly performed its work under contract.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    TranSafety Incorporated

    2020 K Street, NW, Suite 350
    Washington, DC  United States  20006
  • Publication Date: 1985-7

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 2
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 3
    • Issue Number: 7
    • Publisher: TranSafety, Incorporated
    • ISSN: 0884-612X

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00399506
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 30 1985 12:00AM