Tatar v. Maxon Const. Co.

Decision Date20 March 1973
Docket NumberNo. 45034,45034
Citation294 N.E.2d 272,54 Ill.2d 64
PartiesKast John TATAR v. MAXON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY. MAXON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, Appellant, v. FREESEN BROS., INC., Appellee.
CourtIllinois Supreme Court

Duane L. Traynor, Traynor & Hendricks, Springfield, for appellant.

Giffin, Winning, Lindner, Newkirk & Cohen, Springfield (Alfred F. Newkirk, and Herman G. Bodewes, Springfield, of counsel), for appellee.

GOLDENHERSH, Justice:

The plaintiff, Kast John Tatar, filed suit in the circuit court of Sangamon County and in his complaint alleged that the defendant--third-party plaintiff, Maxon Construction Company, Inc. (hereafter Maxon) was the general contractor in charge of the construction of a power plant in Springfield; that plaintiff was employed by Freesen Bros., Inc. (hereafter Freesen), a subcontractor for grading and leveling work; that while plaintiff was working near the building being constructed in an area where only Maxon's employees were working, he was struck by a wooden beam, which, as the result of Maxon's negligence, fell from the top of the building; and that he was injured. Maxon was the sole defendant named in the complaint.

Maxon answered plaintiff's complaint, and filed a third-party complaint against Freesen alleging that it, as the general contractor, had entered into a contract with Freesen as a subcontractor to perform certain work and that the subcontract contained the following provision:

'19. INDEMNIFICATION AGAINST CERTAIN LIABILITIES.

The Subcontractor agrees to indemnify the General Contractor and the Principal and to hold each of them forever harmless from and against all expenses, claims, suits, or judgments of every kind whatsoever, by or on behalf of any person, firm or corporation, by reason of, arising out of, or connected with, accidents, injuries, or damages, which may occur upon or about the Subcontractor's work. Liability insurance policies shall be maintained by the Subcontractor such as will protect the Subcontractor, the General Contractor, and the Principal from claims for damage to property, and injury to persons, including death to any person or persons, which may arise out of Subcontractor's work. Such policies of insurance, and all other policies of insurance required by the Contract Documents, shall be open to the inspection of the General Contractor, and the Subcontractor shall, if required by the General Contractor, furnish properly authenticated certificates of such policies of insurance from insurance companies acceptable to the General Contractor.'

Maxon's third-party complaint prayed that the 'third party defendant, Freesen Bros. Inc., indemnify and hold harmless the third party plaintiff against loss or expense incurred by reason of the charges of the complaint of the plaintiff, Kast John Tatar, against defendant and third party plaintiff, Maxon Construction Company, Incorporated.'

Freesen moved to dismiss the third-...

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    ...a fair and reasonable interpretation based upon a consideration of all of its language and provisions. Tartar v. Maxon Construction Co., 54 Ill.2d 64, 67, 294 N.E.2d 272, 273-274 (1973). In each of the Illinois cases on which Gates relies, the court examined the exculpatory provision in lig......
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