CONTRACTUAL DEFENSE PROTECTION – A NEW SOLUTION FOR THE OLD “DUTY TO DEFEND” PROBLEM
Imagine this scenario – you are retained by an owner to design a new office building. In front of the office building are stairs and a corresponding ADA-compliant ramp to the front door. Shortly after the building is opened to the public, a visitor slips and falls on the ramp and suffers bodily injuries and sues the owner.
A slip-and-fall like this should be covered by insurance, right? Yes, it should be, as the insurance industry handles slip-and-falls on a daily basis. But because it may be unclear whether the fall was due to improper maintenance of the ramp by the building owner or due to the architect’s negligent design of the ramp, it is likewise unclear whether the claim should be handled by the Owner’s commercial general liability policy or by the A&E’s professional liability policy, or both.