Case Law Alerts
Section 725.06, Florida Statutes, does not apply to contract for excavation not associated with construction, alteration, repair or demolition of a structure.
The trial court held that § 725.06, Florida Statutes, did not apply to a contract between an excavation subcontractor and a general contractor for work involving excavation to access pre-existing utility lines. Section 725.06 provides construction contracts involving “construction, alteration, repair or demolition of a building, structure, appurtenance, or appliance, including moving and excavating associated therewith” require a monetary limitation to be valid where there is an obligation to indemnify another for their own negligence. The 4th DCA upheld the trial court’s ruling, finding that the excavation performed by the subcontractor in preparation for laying and maintaining utility lines was not “construction” under the statute. The 4th DCA’s ruling opens up contractors to potential liability for the negligence of others, without a financial limit, when those contract clauses previously would have been determined to be void under § 725.06. In light of this case, contractors need to be even more vigilant in the drafting of indemnity clauses in their contracts.
Case Law Alerts, 2nd Quarter, April 2018
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