Legal Question in Construction Law in North Carolina


I have questions about a legal ''Liability Release Form''.

Can I have individual carpenters, painters, drywall workers sign a liability release form and not be liable in case of an accident while they are on the job building my house?

We travel on the road with a Ministry out of Texas and do volunteer work at Christian camps, we are required to sign a liability release form and take full responsibility for any accidents, using our Medicare or personal insurance.

Thanks for your reply--name removed--Brown

Asked on 2/06/05, 5:52 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Kirby Law Offices of John M. Kirby

Re: subcontracting

Hmm. That raises a bunch of questions. First, as a general matter, you would not be liable for their acts of negligence. They are independent contractors, and hence you would generally not be "vicariously" liable for their actions (or inactions). Second, if you were liable to third parties (i.e. not you and not the contractors), you could not contract with these contractors to avoid that liability. If, however, you were held liable for their conduct, you should have a common law indemnity claim. Further, you can enter an agreement with them requiring them to indemnify you; this is generally valid if it states that it applies only where you are not negligent. As to whether they can release you for potential claims by them against you (e.g. falling in a hole on your property), that's a little more unclear, but it would probably be enforceable. You should consult your lawyer.

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Answered on 2/08/05, 10:22 pm

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