Yesterday, the Senate unanimously passed legislation authored by Sen. Vicki Jensen (DFL-Owatonna) creating a level playing field for sub-contractors in the construction industry. If signed into law, this bill would make the broad form indemnity clause in construction contracts void and unenforceable.
“This bill is about basic fairness and the fundamental belief that everyone involved in a construction project is responsible for their own negligence and should be responsible for that risk and the costs that go along with that responsibility,” said Senator Jensen. “We are trying to ensure that there is more workplace fairness in construction projects across the state.”
Currently, when a sub-contractor signs an agreement containing an indemnity clause, they are required to buy insurance policies to cover someone else’s negligence. Unfortunately, this means that a sub-contractor is often financially liable for mistakes made by the general contractor at a site, putting an undue financial burden on these sub-contractors. Sen. Jensen’s goal, and that of the Senate, is to prevent this from happening in the future.
Upon its passage, this legislation became the 5th straight bill authored by Sen. Jensen to pass the Senate with no opposition, agreed to unanimously by Democrats and Republicans alike.