Steven P. Soha


This Article develops how Washington courts historically have interpreted construction industry indemnification clauses. The Article first addresses the substantive and the primary issue of liability, vel non, under construction industry indemnification provisions. After offering a historical analysis of Washington case law on the subject, the Article analyzes the recent statutory amendments to section 4.24.115 of the Washington Revised Code, which substantially impact the current state of the law and which should resolve many unsettled or ambiguous issues in the case law. This Article then discusses some unique issues that have arisen in the context of attempts to judicially enforce these indemnification provisions. Finally, this Article proposes a model indemnification provision that equitably formulates the clause, taking into account the precepts enunciated in Washington case law and statutes. This Article discusses certain non-industry cases when principles enunciated in those cases bear upon issues and principles germane to the interpretation of indemnity clauses in construction industry cases. Notwithstanding this brief discussion, the primary focus of this Article is upon the interpretation and enforcement of indemnity clauses in construction industry contracts.