Author Archives: William L. Doerler

California Limits Indemnification Obligations of Design Professionals


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The California legislature recently enacted legislation – SB 496 – limiting a design professional’s indemnification obligations in private contracts related to design services. The term “design professional” refers to licensed architects, landscape architects and professional land surveyors, and registered professional engineers. As revised, Cal. Civ. Code § 2782.8 states that, for all contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2018 for design professional services, all provisions that purport to have the design professional indemnify the indemnitee for claims against the indemnitee – or require the design professional to provide a defense to the indemnitee – are unenforceable except to the extent that the claims against the indemnitee arise out of, or relate to, the negligence, recklessness or willful misconduct of the design professional. In addition, as revised, § 2782.8 limits a design professional’s liability for the cost of defense to the design professional’s percentage of fault.

The revised statute provides two exceptions. Pursuant to these exceptions, the limitations related to the duty and cost to defend do not apply to: 1) design service contracts where a project-specific general liability policy insures all project participants, including the design professional, and 2) a design professional who is a party to a written design-build, joint venture agreement.

Although this change in the law does not go into effect until January 1, 2018, the change serves as a reminder to subrogation professionals that, when faced with indemnification provisions in design or construction-related contracts, they should check local laws to determine the extent to which subrogating insurers can enforce such provisions.

This entry was posted in Architects-Engineers, California, Indemnification and tagged , , , .

FedEx Supply Chain Recalls Cellphone Batteries


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On August 16, 2017, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

FedEx Supply Chain Recalls Cellphone Batteries That Could Lead to Fire and Burn Hazards

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Kawasaki Recalls All-Terrain Vehicles


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On August 10, 2017, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Kawasaki Recalls All-Terrain Vehicles Due to Fire Hazard

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Firewood Recalls Vaporizers


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On August 7, 2017, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Firewood Recalls Vaporizers Due to Fire Hazard

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Fred’s Recalls Charcoal Grills


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On August 2, 2017, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Fred’s Recalls Charcoal Grills Due to Fire Hazard

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Nestlé Waters North America Recalls AccuPure Water Dispensers


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On July 28, 2017, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Nestlé Waters North America Recalls AccuPure Water Dispensers Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

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West Virginia Enacts “Innocent Seller” Legislation


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By: Edward A. Jaeger, Jr. and William L. Doerler

In products liability actions, in order to ensure that all potentially liable parties are included in a lawsuit, subrogation professionals often include strict liability claims against products sellers within the chain of distribution for a product. In West Virginia, the Legislature recently enacted legislation, W. Va. Code § 55-7-31, designed to protect “innocent” sellers from product liability lawsuits. The legislation states that, for actions involving a product sold on or after July 6, 2017, no product liability action – i.e. a strict liability action – can be maintained against a seller unless the seller meets one of the noted exceptions.

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This entry was posted in Legislation, Products Liability, West Virginia and tagged , .

Polaris Recalls RZR 170 Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On July 25, 2017, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Polaris Recalls RZR 170 Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles Due to Fuel Leak, Fire Hazards

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iRover Recalls Self-Balancing Scooters/Hoverboards


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On July 24, 2017, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

iRover Recalls Self-Balancing Scooters/Hoverboards Due to Fire Hazard

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Polaris Recalls Sportsman 570 All-Terrain Vehicles


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On July 19, 2017, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Polaris Recalls Sportsman 570 All-Terrain Vehicles Due to Fuel Leak, Fire Hazards

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