Residential Contractors' Defense Obligations in California

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In a litigious state like California, residential contractors must be familiar with their defense obligations and keenly aware of the recent developments in the law governing such obligations.

In July of 2008, the California supreme court issued an opinion entitled Crawford v. Weather Shield Manufacturing Inc. The Crawford opinion held that a subcontractor must pay for the developer/general contractor’s attorneys’ fees, despite the fact that a jury found that the subcontractor was not negligent in performing its work at the residential construction project. This shocking opinion was based upon the court’s interpretation of the language of the defense obligations as defined in the subcontract between the subcontractor and the developer/general contractor.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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