Interest Groups

Indiana Supreme Court holds General Contractor Assumed Non-Delegable Duty of Care to Employee of Subcontractor - Litigation News

Get the news you want the way you want it: click the RSS button in the right corner to add this feed to your RSS reader, or click here to subscribe to this content. By subscribing, you’ll find this news on your Member Account page, and the latest articles will be emailed to you in your customized IndyBar E-Bulletin e-newsletter.

Litigation News

Posted on: May 11, 2017

By Laura Gorman, Barnes & Thornburg LLP

The Indiana Supreme Court recently handed down a potentially significant opinion finding as a matter of law that a general contractor owed a duty of care to the employees of a subcontractor to provide a “reasonably safe” work environment. The case arose after a subcontractor’s employee fell from an 8-foot ladder while working at a jobsite. The Court held the general contractor, not its subcontractor, had a duty of care to protect the subcontractor’s employee while he was on the ladder. That duty arose out of a standard form contract for design-build contracts. While recognizing that “the long-standing rule in Indiana is that a principal will not be held liable for the negligence of an independent contractor,” Justice David’s opinion held that this rule did not apply because the general contractor had assumed a duty of care in its contract with its principal, the property owner.

The case can be found here.

If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Litigation Section page, please email Kara Sikorski at


Indianapolis Bar Association (IndyBar) est. 1878 | 4,536 Members (as of 2.11.21)