Where the injured employee’s allegations in the complaint raised claims based solely on WEPCO’s negligence and conduct, Time-Warner had no duty to defend or indemnify WEPCO for WEPCO’s own negligence.
“Travelers’ argument for indemnification from St. Paul is premised on the “hold harmless” provision of the Time Warner/Cable Cops contract. That provision, however, holds Time Warner harmless ‘from any liability or claims, demands, suites [sic], costs, and fees in connection with the installations.’ But obviously, if Time Warner had no liability, and had no claims, demands, or suits filed against it, that provision would never come into play. Such is the circumstance here. …
“In the instant case, therefore, where only WEPCO’s negligence was alleged, and where the indemnification agreement not only did not include ‘a clear and unequivocal statement’ indemnifying WEPCO for its negligent acts, but actually provided ‘a clear and unequivocal statement’ to the contrary, strict construction of the indemnification agreement was required. And that agreement, literally and strictly construed, relieved Time Warner of liability for WEPCO’s sole negligence.”
Dist I, Milwaukee County, Dugan, J., Schudson, J.
For Appellant: Donald H. Carlson, Milwaukee; Jon E. Fredrickson, Milwaukee
For Respondent: Douglas S. Knott, Milwaukee