Written by attorney Alexander Edward Barthet

What’s in Every Construction Contract but Rarely Understood?

Three common construction contract provisions—hold harmless, indemnification, and duty to defend—are often found together.

In reality, however, these provisions are not the same, and each one has different and serious implications.

Additional resources provided by the author

A general contractor generally seeks to obtain all 3 clauses from his subcontractors. This will provide some cover if the GC is hit with a claim from the owner. A sub will of course want to deflect these clauses, and add that such provisions will only go into effect when the subcontractor’s negligent or wrongful acts or omissions directly lead to the claim. When confronted with any of these clauses, step back. Read them carefully to be sure you understand what you’re getting into. It may be a lot more than you think.

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