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Third-party defendant not liable to landlord for damages in lease dispute

The court affirmed the trial court's judgment to the extent it imposed liability on third-party defendant-Dan's Excavating for repairing damage to the stone surface of plaintiff-HFP's property. It also affirmed the trial court's order dismissing defendant-W&W's common law indemnity claim, and the order denying HFP's request to hold both W&W and Dan's Excavating liable for any judgment entered in HFP's favor. In light of the undisputed facts and those found by the trial court, and the plain language of the PUA's indemnity clause, it reversed the trial court's judgment imposing liability and assessing damages against Dan's Excavating for unpaid rent, HFP's costs incurred in maintaining the soil pile, W&W's costs incurred in removing and testing the soil, and the award of costs and attorney fees in favor of HFP and W&W. The court also reversed the trial court's imposition of court costs and interest against Dan's Excavating. The case involved a lease agreement between HEP and W&W, as well as an indemnity agreement between W&W (the indemnitee) and Dan's Excavating (the indemnitor). Dan's Excavating appealed the trial court's opinion and order finding it liable to HFP and W&W for W&W's unpaid rent under its lease with HFP, the costs of removing soil from certain real property, the cost of repairing the real property, as well as certain fees, including, but not limited to, W&W's and HFP's attorney fees. The court held that the trial court erred when it found Dan's Excavating directly liable to HFP for HFP's claims against W&W. The only theories of liability asserted by HFP were against W&W, not against Dan's Excavating. There were "no contractual agreements between HFP and Dan's Excavating, namely because HFP refused to enter into one when Dan's Excavating learned that HFP was the true property owner and sought to enter into" a PUA with HFP. Thus, there was nothing to support the trial court's decision to find Dan's Excavating directly liable to HFP for all of its claims against W&W. The trial court appeared to support, at least in part, its imposition of liability against Dan's Excavating based on the indemnification provision contained in the PUA between W&W and Dan's Excavating. The court held that the trial court erred by imposing direct liability on Dan's Excavating for HFP's claims against W&W. The indemnity agreement here operated to create direct liability between Dan's Excavating and W&W. It did not create direct liability between Dan's Excavating and HFP. Rather, it required Dan's Excavating to assume certain liability incurred by W&W. Remanded for further proceedings.

Antenuptial agreement held to be valid and enforceable

The court held that the parties' antenuptial agreement was valid and enforceable, concluding that to invalidate it on the basis of one party's fault would contravene the agreement's clear and unambiguous language, and that as a matter of law, the...

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