Pennsylvania Taking Steps to Help the Small Contractor


By: Josh Ferguson
There are currently two bills in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives intended to limit the ability of property owners, managers and general contractors from pushing their liability onto the sub-contractors.
Pennsylvania State Representatives introduced House Bill 1887, which would allow for only limited indemnification within construction contracts.  The Bill would amend Act 164, which has been in force since 1970.  If passed as written, the bill would significantly curtail broad and intermediate forms of indemnification.  Any level of negligence contributed by the owner or general contractor could eliminate their right to indemnification from a subcontractor.  This Bill would align Pennsylvania’s anti-indemnity statutes with that of Delaware, New York, and Ohio.
A similar indemnity limiting bill has been proposed to protect snow and ice management contractors. The Commercial Snow Removal Service Liability Limitation Act has been reintroduced into the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The proposed legislation, House Bill 1702, is intended to limit property owners and managers from passing on their negligence through hold-harmless agreements and indemnification clauses. Similar legislation has been adopted into law in Illinois, Colorado and Connecticut.
For further information or for further inquiries you may contact Joshua Ferguson of Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP, at