Fall River Housing Authority vs. H. V. Collins Company; Cape Cod Lath & Plaster, Inc., 414 Mass. 10

12/23/1992 Posted By: Corwin & Corwin LLP

court: SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS
Citation: 414 Mass. 10
Parties: FALL RIVER HOUSING AUTHORITY vs. H. V. COLLINS COMPANY; CAPE COD LATH & PLASTER, INC., third-party defendant.
County: Suffolk
Hearing Date: November 3, 1992
Decision Date: December 23, 1992
Judges: LIACOS, C.J., WILKINS, NOLAN, LYNCH, & GREANEY, JJ.

Neither the provisions of the contract between the general contractor and one of the subcontractors on a construction project, nor the circumstances of the relationship between the parties, gave rise to any implied contractual right of indemnity requiring the subcontractor to indemnify the general contractor for repair work required after the project was completed; consequently, the general contractor's third-party claim against the subcontractor was one for simple breach of contract and was barred by the applicable six-year statute of limitations, G. L. c. 260, Section 2. [14-17]

CIVIL ACTION commenced in the Superior Court Department on March 16, 1988.

A third-party claim, filed on April 27, 1988, was heard by Elizabeth B. Donovan, J., on a motion for summary judgment.

The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.

Paul W. Goodale of Rhode Island, for H. V. Collins Company.

Peter J. Gagne for Cape Cod Lath & Plaster, Inc.

NOLAN, J. Once again we must work our way through the brambles surrounding the right to indemnity at common law. In this case, there are two issues: (1) whether there is an implied right of indemnification arising from the terms of a subcontract between the general contractor and the subcontractor; and (2) if the right exists in this case, when does an