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Release Forms for Contractors

Courts are often reluctant to enforce releases.

New York
Key point: A release form that attempts to relieve a church from liability for personal injuries will be strictly construed against the church and will not be enforceable against persons not specifically released by the agreement.

A New York appeals court ruled that a church could not avoid liability for personal injuries suffered by a construction worker on church premises on the basis of a release form that did not specifically release the worker. A church hired a contractor to repair its bell tower and spire, and had the contractor sign an agreement that contained the following "hold harmless" agreement:

The contractor agrees that he undertakes all repairs and renovations as detailed in the proposal at his how risk and he agrees to indemnify and save the church and all it's [sic] members and officers for damage to property or injury to, or the death of any person, including ...

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  • July 1, 1994

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