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Fred Mahar Secures Defense and Indemnification for Engineer in Building Collapse Case

Fred Mahar represented an engineering firm that provided inspection services for an extensive demolition project at an international airport. The project included the demolition of several buildings and an airplane hangar. The engineering firm contracted with the airport owner to provide inspection services at the project, including general observations of the ongoing work and preparation of daily reports summarizing the work performed each day. During construction, the demolition subcontractor deviated from the approved demolition plan for the airplane hangar (which was prepared by a separate engineering firm), causing the building to partially collapse with several of its workers inside.

Two severely injured workers filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the owner, contractors, and engineers involved on the project, including our client. Pursuant to the owner’s contract with the general contractor on the project, the general contractor was required to defend and indemnify the owner and all of its “agents” for any third-party injury claims that arose from the project. Mr. Mahar argued that his engineer client was an “agent” of the owner in the context of interpreting the defense and indemnity clause. Accordingly, as per Mr. Mahar’s position, the general contractor was contractually obligated to defend and indemnify the engineer in relation to the lawsuit filed by the injured workers.

Mr. Mahar demanded that the contractor immediately assume the defense and indemnification of the engineer in the lawsuit, and threatened a motion to enforce the contractual obligations, with costs, in the event the demand was rejected. The contractor agreed to defend and indemnify the engineer, thus saving the engineer and its insurance carrier significant defense costs and expenses and eliminating potential exposure on the multimillion-dollar lawsuit.

Thompson Becker, LLC provides a wide range of both transactional and litigation services for the construction related professionals and their businesses. We have successfully prosecuted and defended various types of construction related claims. Contact us at (856) 616-8886 to see how we can help you with your construction law needs.



The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Thompson Becker, LLC or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.


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