Senate Bill 972 by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) will be heard on Tuesday, May 4 in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  This measure would limit the freedom of public agencies, including special districts, to contract with design professionals.

Specifically, this legislation provides that under any indemnity agreement with a public agency, a design professional will have no obligation to defend actions or proceedings prior to a preliminary or final determination of liability.  Furthermore, the bill states that the design professional’s defense costs may not exceed the determined percentage of liability based upon the comparative fault of the indemnitor.

In summary, SB 972 would, in effect, transfer responsibility and risk from design professionals to the public and result in taxpayer dollars funding new unnecessary litigation. Special districts should remain free to negotiate defense and indemnification clauses without artificial statutory barriers.

Take action on SB 972 today, by contacting the offices of Senators serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Find their contact information and more information regarding SB 972 on CSDA’s Grassroots Action Center!