Case Summary : Michael Seidita v. Millennium Pipeline Company, LLC, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100473 (Sept. 2, 2011).

Summary: Michael Seidita v. Millennium Pipeline Company, LLC, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100473 (Sept. 2, 2011). Previous to this decision, the plaintiff had discontinued the action against one defendant and settled with two others. At issue in this decision was indemnification claim by one of the defendants who was organized to construct the pipeline against the other defendant, and who was a contractor hired to provide inspection, safety, and construction management services. The defendant against whom indemnification is sought contends that the other defendant is not entitled to indemnification because:

  1. The indemnification clause does not cover this case because the accident did not arise out of its activities.
  2. The indemnification clause is unenforceable because it purports to indemnify the party seeking indemnification for their own negligence.

The entity from whom indemnity is sought also contends, even if the other party is entitled to contractual indemnification, that it is entitled to common law indemnification. The court granted contractual indemnification to one defendant and denied common law indemnification to the other.

Practice Note: The case provides a detailed analysis of the enforceability of a contractual indemnification provision.

Topic Tags: Common Law Indemnification, Contractual Indemnification