Design Professionals to Benefit from Changes to Construction Indemnity Statute

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Washington Governor Christine Gregoire has signed into law SHB 1559, which clarifies the scope of the so-called “anti-indemnity statute” (RCW 4.24.115) and now specifically includes design professionals within its coverage. The anti-indemnity statute voids any indemnity provision in a construction contract that requires one party to indemnify another for the other’s negligence. Numerous associations representing the design professional community raised three major points of concern regarding the previous version of the statute, which the Legislature now has addressed with the revised statute signed by the Governor.

•The previous statute applied to “construction” contracts, but was unclear regarding whether that included contracts with design professionals. The revised statute now expressly applies to contracts for “architectural, landscape architectural, engineering and land surveying services.”...

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