I am constantly asked why an individual is added to a lawsuit when the function of the job performed was not part of the lawsuit for which they have been served.
Most people do not realize that the attorney representing the plaintiff has a duty to that plaintiff to name any and all possible people that may have any liabilities whether small, medium or large. That attorney is performing his duty, unfor-tunately, naming you as a nominal party in that lawsuit.
Many times when you privately engage legal counsel or the lawsuit is a covered event, that attorney will immediately contact the opposing party to ask for dismissal for at least for the time of being in the action because of the fact it appears that you were mis-named. About 50% of the time this works and the other 50% you are sucked into the lawsuit and either you or the Insurance Company is expected to pay the ransom to buy out of it. This is today’s reality… You may consider it another cost of doing business.
One way that you can mitigate the above issue, is to be ever careful in the Contracts that you utilize when engaging a client. So often, you will be able to modify these Contracts prior to their signing because of the nominal nature of your involvement in the total project for which other sub-contractors are employed. You need to negotiate your responsibilities to a lower responsible level with your client.
Words of wisdom…Read your contract before signing.
That’s what we do at Bone Robertson & McBride Inc.
With good health to you,
Don Bone, President