An allegation based in contract cannot support a third-party claim for contribution

New York



An Allegation Based in Contract Cannot Support a Third-Party Claim for Contribution In Cobblestone Foods, LLC v Branded Concept Dev., Inc., 2021 NY Slip Op 06984 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2021), the plaintiff had retained the defendant, Branded Concept, to oversee a renovation project and the third-party defendant, Wesbuilt, to serve as the general contractor for the project.The renovation did not go according to plan, and the plaintiff brought an action against Branded Concept to recover damages for breach of contract and various torts. Branded Concept brought a third-party action against Wesbuilt. The third-party action against Wesbuilt was dismissed. Branded Concept appealed the dismissal of the third-party action.The Court affirmed the dismissal of Branded Concept’s third-party action against Wesbuilt. The Court noted that indemnification permits a party who has been compelled to pay for the wrong of another to recover damages paid to the injured party from the wrongdoer. Indemnification may be pursued by parties who have been held vicariously liable for the injury.The Court understood the plaintiff’s tort claims against Branded Concept as, essentially, breach of contract claims. The Court held that the plaintiff, who alleged breach of contract, was not seeking to hold Branded Concept vicariously liable for anything that Wesbuilt did or did not do, and therefore common-law indemnification did not apply.

April 14, 2022
Cobblestone Foods, LLC v. Branded Concept Dev., Inc., 2021 NY Slip Op 06984 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2021)
New York Courts