2005 California Civil Code Sections 2772-2784.5 TITLE 12. INDEMNITYCIVIL CODE
2772. Indemnity is a contract by which one engages to save another from a legal consequence of the conduct of one of the parties, or of some other person. (2773.) Section Twenty-seven Hundred and Seventy-three. An agreement to indemnify a person against an act thereafter to be done, is void, if the act be known by such person at the time of doing it to be unlawful. 2774. An agreement to indemnify a person against an act already done, is valid, even though the act was known to be wrongful, unless it was a felony. 2775. An agreement to indemnify against the acts of a certain person, applies not only to his acts and their consequences, but also to those of his agents. 2776. An agreement to indemnify several persons applies to each, unless a contrary intention appears. 2777. One who indemnifies another against an act to be done by the latter, is liable jointly with the person indemnified, and separately, to every person injured by such act. 2778. In the interpretation of a contract of indemnity, the following rules are to be applied, unless a contrary intention appears: 1. Upon an indemnity against liability, expressly, or in other equivalent terms, the person indemnified is entitled to recover upon becoming liable; 2. Upon an indemnity against claims, or demands, or damages, or costs, expressly, or in other equivalent terms, the person indemnified is not entitled to recover without payment thereof; 3. An indemnity against claims, or demands, or liability, expressly, or in other equivalent terms, embraces the costs of defense against such claims, demands, or liability incurred in good faith, and in the exercise of a reasonable discretion; 4. The person indemnifying is bound, on request of the person indemnified, to defend actions or proceedings brought against the latter in respect to the matters embraced by the indemnity, but the person indemnified has the right to conduct such defenses, if he chooses to do so; 5. If, after request, the person indemnifying neglects to defend the person indemnified, a recovery against the latter suffered by him in good faith, is conclusive in his favor against the former; 6. If the person indemnifying, whether he is a principal or a surety in the agreement, has not reasonable notice of the action or proceeding against the person indemnified, or is not allowed to control its defense, judgment against the latter is only presumptive evidence against the former; 7. A stipulation that a judgment against the person indemnified shall be conclusive upon the person indemnifying, is inapplicable if he had a good defense upon the merits, which by want of ordinary care he failed to establish in the action. 2779. Where one, at the request of another, engages to answer in damages, whether liquidated or unliquidated, for any violation of duty on the part of the latter, he is entitled to be reimbursed in the same manner as a surety, for whatever he may pay. 2782. (a) Except as provided in Sections 2782.1, 2782.2, 2782.5, and 2782.6, provisions, clauses, covenants, or agreements contained in, collateral to, or affecting any construction contract and that purport to indemnify the promisee against liability for damages for death or bodily injury to persons, injury to property, or any other loss, damage or expense arising from the sole negligence or willful misconduct of the promisee or the promisee's agents, servants, or independent contractors who are directly responsible to the promisee, or for defects in design furnished by those persons, are against public policy and are void and unenforceable; provided, however, that this section shall not affect the validity of any insurance contract, workers' compensation, or agreement issued by an admitted insurer as defined by the Insurance Code. (b) Except as provided in Sections 2782.1, 2782.2, and 2782.5, provisions, clauses, covenants, or agreements contained in, collateral to, or affecting any construction contract with a public agency that purport to impose on the contractor, or relieve the public agency from, liability for the active negligence of the public agency are void and unenforceable. (c) For all construction contracts, and amendments thereto, entered into after January 1, 2006, for residential construction, as used in Title 7 (commencing with Section 895) of Part 2 of Division 2, all provisions, clauses, covenants, and agreements contained in, collateral to, or affecting any such construction contract, and amendments thereto, that purport to indemnify, including the cost to defend, the builder, as defined in Section 911, by a subcontractor against liability for claims of construction defects are unenforceable to the extent the claims arise out of, pertain to, or relate to the negligence of the builder or the builder's other agents, other servants, or other independent contractors who are directly responsible to the builder, or for defects in design furnished by those persons, or to the extent the claims do not arise out of, pertain to, or relate to the scope of work in the written agreement between the parties. This section shall not be waived or modified by contractual agreement, act, or omission of the parties. Contractual provisions, clauses, covenants, or agreements not expressly prohibited herein are reserved to the agreement of the parties. (d) Subdivision (c) does not prohibit a subcontractor and builder from mutually agreeing to the timing or immediacy of the defense and provisions for reimbursement of defense fees and costs, so long as that agreement, upon final resolution of the claims, does not waive or modify the provisions of subdivision (c). Subdivision (c) shall not affect the obligations of an insurance carrier under the holding of Presley Homes, Inc. v. American States Insurance Company (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 571. Subdivision (c) shall not affect the builder's or subcontractor's obligations pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 910) of Title 7 of Part 2 of Division 2. 2782.1. Nothing contained in Section 2782 shall prevent a contractor responsible for the performance of a construction contract, as defined in Section 2783, from indemnifying fully a person, firm, corporation, state or other agency for whose account the construction contract is not being performed but who, as an accommodation, enters into an agreement with the contractor permitting such contractor to enter upon or adjacent to its property for the purpose of performing such construction contract for others. 2782.2. (a) Nothing contained in subdivision (a) of Section 2782 prevents an agreement to indemnify a professional engineer against liability for the negligence of the engineer, or the engineer's agents or employees, in providing inspection services to plants or other facilities if all the following criteria are satisfied: (1) The promisor is the owner of the plants or facilities inspected. (2) The promisor is audited annually by an independent certified public accountant, public accountant, or accounting licentiate of another state authorized by the laws of that state to perform the audit. (3) The net worth of the promisor exceeds ten million dollars ($10,000,000), as determined by the promisor's most recent annual independent audit. The requirement of this paragraph shall be satisfied at the time the contract for indemnification is entered, and a subsequent reduction of the promisor's net worth shall not void the obligation to indemnify. (4) The promisor is self-insured with respect to liability arising from ownership of the plant or facility. (5) The indemnification shall not be applicable to the first two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) of liability. (b) Subdivision (a) does not authorize contracts for indemnification of liability arising from willful misconduct. 2782.5. Nothing contained in Section 2782 shall prevent a party to a construction contract and the owner or other party for whose account the construction contract is being performed from negotiating and expressly agreeing with respect to the allocation, release, liquidation, exclusion, or limitation as between the parties of any liability (a) for design defects, or (b) of the promisee to the promisor arising out of or relating to the construction contract. 2782.6. (a) Nothing in subdivision (a) of Section 2782 prevents an agreement to indemnify a professional engineer or geologist or the agents, servants, independent contractors, subsidiaries, or employees of that engineer or geologist from liability as described in Section 2782 in providing hazardous materials identification, evaluation, preliminary assessment, design, remediation services, or other services of the types described in Sections 25322 and 25323 of the Health and Safety Code or the federal National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (40 C.F.R. Sec. 300.1 et seq.), if all of the following criteria are satisfied: (1) The services in whole or in part address subterranean contamination or other concealed conditions caused by the hazardous materials. (2) The promisor is responsible, or potentially responsible, for all or part of the contamination. (b) The indemnification described in this section is valid only for damages arising from, or related to, subterranean contamination or concealed conditions, and is not applicable to the first two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) of liability or such greater amount as is agreed by the parties. (c) This section does not authorize contracts for indemnification, by promisors specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), of any liability of a promisee arising from the gross negligence or willful misconduct of the promisee. (d) "Hazardous materials," as used in this section, means any hazardous or toxic substance, material, or waste which is or becomes subject to regulation as such by any agency of the state, any municipality or political subdivision of the state, or the United States. "Hazardous materials" includes, but is not limited to, any material or substance that is any of the following: (1) A hazardous substance, as defined in Section 25316 of the Health and Safety Code. (2) Hazardous material, as defined in subdivision (j) of Section 25501 of the Health and Safety Code. (3) Acutely hazardous material, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 25532 of the Health and Safety Code. (4) Hazardous waste, as defined in Section 25117 of the Health and Safety Code. (5) Extremely hazardous waste, as defined in Section 25115 of the Health and Safety Code. (6) Petroleum. (7) Asbestos. (8) Designated as a hazardous substance for purposes of Section 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1321). (9) Hazardous waste, as defined by subsection (5) of Section 1004 of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, as amended (42 U.S.C. Sec. 6903). (10) A hazardous substance, as defined by subsection (14) of Section 101 of the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (42 U.S.C. Sec. 9601). (11) A regulated substance, as defined by subsection (2) of Section 9001 of the federal Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. Sec. 6991). (e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter, modify, or otherwise affect the liability of the promisor or promisee, under an indemnity agreement meeting the criteria of this section, to third parties for damages for death or bodily injury to persons, injury to property, or any other loss, damage, or expense. (f) This section does not apply to public entities, as defined by Section 811.2 of the Government Code. 2783. As used in Sections 2782 and 2782.5, "construction contract" is defined as any agreement or understanding, written or oral, respecting the construction, surveying, design, specifications, alteration, repair, improvement, maintenance, removal of or demolition of any building, highway, road, parking facility, bridge, railroad, airport, pier or dock, excavation or other structure, development or other improvement to real or personal property, or an agreement to perform any portion thereof or any act collateral thereto, or to perform any service reasonably related thereto, including, but not limited to, the erection of all structures or performance of work in connection therewith, the rental of all equipment, all incidental transportation, crane and rigging service and other goods and services furnished in connection therewith. 2784. As used in Sections 2782 and 2782.5, a "design defect" is defined as a condition arising out of its design which renders a structure, item of equipment or machinery or any other similar object, movable or immovable, when constructed substantially in accordance with its design, inherently unfit, either wholly or in part, for its intended use or which impairs or renders the use of such structure, equipment, machinery or property dangerous. 2784.5. Any provision, promise, agreement, clause, or covenant contained in, collateral to, or affecting any hauling, trucking, or cartage contract or agreement is against public policy, void and unenforceable if it purports to indemnify the promisee against liability for any of the following damages which are caused by the sole negligence or willful misconduct of the promisee, agents, servants, or the independent contractors directly responsible to the promisee, except when such agents, servants, or independent contractors are under the direct supervision and control of the promisor: (a) Damages arising out of bodily injury or death to persons. (b) Damage to property. (c) Any other damage or expense arising under either (a) or (b). This section shall not affect the validity of any insurance contract, workmen's compensation insurance contract, or agreement issued by an admitted insurer as defined by Sections 23 and 24 of the Insurance Code or insurance effected by surplus line brokers under Sections 1760 through 1780 of the Insurance Code.
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