Home Indem. Co. v. Edwards, No. EE-55

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtBOOTH; ERVIN, Acting C. J., and MELVIN
Citation360 So.2d 1112
Docket NumberNo. EE-55
Decision Date10 July 1978
PartiesHOME INDEMNITY COMPANY et al., Appellants, v. Eddie EDWARDS, Sr., etc., Appellees.

Page 1112

360 So.2d 1112
HOME INDEMNITY COMPANY et al., Appellants,
v.
Eddie EDWARDS, Sr., etc., Appellees.
No. EE-55.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,First District.
July 10, 1978.
Rehearing Denied Aug. 9, 1978.

Page 1113

S. William Fuller, Jr., of Howell, Howell, Liles & Braddock, Jacksonville, for appellants.

Robert C. Kent, James T. Terrell, John C. Taylor, Jr., Marion R. Shepard of Mathews, Osborne, Ehrlich, McNatt, Gobelman & Cobb, Jacksonville, for appellees.

BOOTH, Judge.

This cause is before us on appeal from the order of the Circuit Court, Duval County, granting final summary judgment in favor of third party defendant, Houdaille Industries, Inc., as to Count I and II, 1 and dismissing Count III for failure to state a cause of action.

The two questions presented are: First, whether a manufacturer of a product who is sued for breach of warranty by one injured by the product may bring a third party suit for indemnity against the employer of the injured party. Second, whether the third party complaint and the evidence before the court in this case are sufficient to withstand the employer's motions for dismissal and summary judgment.

The first question has been answered in the affirmative by the Supreme Court in Sunspan Engineering and Construction Company v. Spring-Lock Scaffolding Company, 310 So.2d 4 (Fla.1975); Trail Builders Supply Company v. Reagan, 235 So.2d 482 (Fla.1970) and Florida Gas Company v. Spaulding, 243 So.2d 129 (Fla.1970). The recent decision of the Supreme Court in Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Company v. Smith, 359 So.2d 427, Cases # 51,649 & # 51,650, Opinion filed March 30, 1978, restates the distinctions between contribution and indemnity and, as to the latter, holds that an active tortfeasor whose operation of a train caused the accident has no right to indemnification against an employer for damages paid to an injured employee even though the negligence of the employer was willful or wanton.

In this case, the employer argues that a manufacturer is, by definition, guilty of active negligence, a contention which would preclude actions for indemnity by any manufacturer. We find that contention untenable since the Sunspan Engineering and Trail Builders cases, supra, both involve manufacturers and in both the third party complaints for indemnity against employers were allowed. In Sunspan Engineering, the employee was injured on the job when a platform board fell from a scaffolding tower which was manufactured by the third party plaintiff, Spring-Lock Scaffolding Company. The employees sued the manufacturer and the manufacturer filed a third party complaint against the employer. The Supreme Court, expressly limiting its consideration to the negligence count of the complaint, stated that the cause of action existed against the third party defendant. In the Trail Builders Supply Company case, the employee was injured when he was drawn into a truss roll press being operated without an appropriate safety device. He instituted suit against the manufacturer alleging negligence in the construction of the machine. The manufacturer's third party complaint against the employer for indemnity alleged that the employer had ignored safety regulations by making certain safety devices ineffective and had thus caused the employee's injury. The Supreme

Page 1114

Court ruled that the allegedly negligent manufacturer could sue the employer for indemnity, stating that "justice, fair play and what's right" demand that an actively negligent employer be called on to indemnify a passive third party tortfeasor. (235 So.2d at 485)

This brings us to the second of the two questions presented...

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6 practice notes
  • Christiani v. Popovich, s. X-265
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 10, 1978
    ...in the trial court were issues of indemnity, which we do not confuse with contribution. See, E. g., Home Indemnity Co. v. Edwards, 360 So.2d 1112 (Fla. 1st DCA 1978). Appellants have not urged that there was error in the trial court's rulings insofar as they dismissed appellants' indemnity ......
  • Rea v. Barton Protective Services, Inc., No. 94-2463
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 13, 1995
    ...of conduct set forth therein. See Linpro Florida, Inc. v. Almandinger, 603 So.2d 666 (Fla. 4th DCA 1992); Home Indem. Co. v. Edwards, 360 So.2d 1112 (Fla. 1st DCA 1978), decision quashed on other grounds, Houdaille Indus., Inc. v. Edwards, 374 So.2d 490 (Fla.1979); Broward Marine, Inc. v. N......
  • Carr Smith & Associates, Inc. v. Fence Masters, Inc., No. 86-3188
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 1, 1987
    ...Holl v. Talcott, 191 So.2d 40 (Fla.1966). This rule is equally applicable to third party complaints. Home Indem. Co. v. Edwards, 360 So.2d 1112 (Fla. 1st DCA 1978), rev'd on other grounds, Houdaille Indus., Inc. v. Edwards, 374 So.2d 490 (Fla.1979). In this case there remain unresolved issu......
  • Houdaille Industries, Inc. v. Edwards, No. 54949
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 5, 1979
    ...ALDERMAN, Justice. We have for review the decision of the District Court of Appeal, First District, in Home Indemnity Co. v. Edwards, 360 So.2d 1112 (Fla. 1st DCA 1978), which conflicts with Stuart v. Hertz Corporation, 351 So.2d 703 (Fla.1977), and Spring Lock Scaffolding Rental Co. v. Cha......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Christiani v. Popovich, s. X-265
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 10, 1978
    ...in the trial court were issues of indemnity, which we do not confuse with contribution. See, E. g., Home Indemnity Co. v. Edwards, 360 So.2d 1112 (Fla. 1st DCA 1978). Appellants have not urged that there was error in the trial court's rulings insofar as they dismissed appellants' indemnity ......
  • Rea v. Barton Protective Services, Inc., No. 94-2463
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 13, 1995
    ...of conduct set forth therein. See Linpro Florida, Inc. v. Almandinger, 603 So.2d 666 (Fla. 4th DCA 1992); Home Indem. Co. v. Edwards, 360 So.2d 1112 (Fla. 1st DCA 1978), decision quashed on other grounds, Houdaille Indus., Inc. v. Edwards, 374 So.2d 490 (Fla.1979); Broward Marine, Inc. v. N......
  • Carr Smith & Associates, Inc. v. Fence Masters, Inc., No. 86-3188
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 1, 1987
    ...Holl v. Talcott, 191 So.2d 40 (Fla.1966). This rule is equally applicable to third party complaints. Home Indem. Co. v. Edwards, 360 So.2d 1112 (Fla. 1st DCA 1978), rev'd on other grounds, Houdaille Indus., Inc. v. Edwards, 374 So.2d 490 (Fla.1979). In this case there remain unresolved issu......
  • Houdaille Industries, Inc. v. Edwards, No. 54949
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 5, 1979
    ...ALDERMAN, Justice. We have for review the decision of the District Court of Appeal, First District, in Home Indemnity Co. v. Edwards, 360 So.2d 1112 (Fla. 1st DCA 1978), which conflicts with Stuart v. Hertz Corporation, 351 So.2d 703 (Fla.1977), and Spring Lock Scaffolding Rental Co. v. Cha......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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