The Georgia Court of Appeals recently affirmed a grant of summary judgment obtained by C&W partner Alan H. Meincke and associate attorney N. Tayler Houston, in the firm’s Atlanta, Georgia office, in a case pending before the State Court of Fulton County.
Mr. Meincke represented a trucking client who maintained a tractor trailer storage yard and contracted with a security company to protect the facility. Pursuant to the security contracts between the parties, the security company was to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the trucking client for any damages result from the security company’s negligent performance under the agreement. After a series of property theft incidents occurred, the security company and our trucking client were named as defendants in a lawsuit for negligence, breach of bailment, property loss, attorney’s fees, and punitive damages related to third party thefts occurring on or near the premises. The plaintiff alleged the security company’s security guard was indirectly or directly responsible for thefts. Near the outset of the litigation, the security company failed and refused to accept a demand for tender of defense of our trucking client. Mr. Meincke subsequently filed and won summary judgment at the trial level after the security company refused to indemnify, defend, and hold our client harmless for the loss.
The security company attempted, unsuccessfully, to argue: (1) Mr. Meincke’s client failed to satisfy conditions precedent to the security company’s duty to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless under the contracts at issue; and, (2) that indemnification was premature until a judgment was entered against our client. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court on all claimed enumerations of error. The case will be remitted back to the trial court for a hearing on damages in the form of attorney’s fees and costs incurred by our trucking client due to the security company’s failure to accept the demand for tender of defense at the outset of the case.
If you have any questions or would like more information related to liability litigation, including demands for tender of defense and the duty to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless another party, please contact Alan H. Meincke, Esq. at AMeincke@c-wlaw.com or (470) 740-4100.