July 16, 2021

Widow Not Required to Indemnify Kids’ Wrongful Death Suit

A widow who agreed to indemnify a defendant for injuries sustained by her then-living husband does not have to cover subsequent wrongful death claims brought by her adult children. A federal court found the wrongful death claims to be legally distinct from her own released claims and applied strict rules of construction to find that the widow had not agreed to indemnify the defendant for subsequent third-party claims. Accordingly, ABA Litigation Section leaders suggest that litigators carefully review release and indemnification agreements in the context of each case to ensure that their clients’ interests are protected.

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