Procedural Posture

Defendant subcontractor appealed the judgment of the Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco (California), which entered judgment in favor of plaintiff contractor in the contractor’s suit for indemnification.

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The contractor’s general superintendent operated a business doing demolition work. The contractor subcontracted demolition work on a building to the general superintendents’ company. The general superintendent served in a dual capacity on the job, supervising both the contractor’s and the subcontractor’s operations. The contractor’s employees shifted from the contractor’s employment to the subcontractor’s and back during the project. A pedestrian who was injured at the site was awarded a judgment against both the contractor and the subcontractor. The contractor brought suit against the subcontractor for indemnification, seeking recovery of its half of the pedestrian’s award. The trial court found for the contractor. The court held that the contractor was, as a matter of law, sufficiently negligent to preclude indemnification. Despite the general superintendent’s dual role, his failure to provide an adequate barricade at the job site was imputed to the contractor. In his capacity as the contractor’s employee, the general superintendent was responsible for directing the erection of a barricade to protect the contractor’s interests.


The judgment in favor of the contractor in his indemnification action against the subcontractor was reversed.