MAXWELL v. James A. Smith Contracting, Inc., appellant (And Two Third-Party Actions).

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Donald MAXWELL, plaintiff, v. TOYS “R” US, etc., respondent, James A. Smith Contracting, Inc., appellant (And Two Third-Party Actions).

Decided: February 22, 1999

LAWRENCE J. BRACKEN, J.P., CORNELIUS J. O'BRIEN, WILLIAM C. THOMPSON and WILLIAM D. FRIEDMANN, JJ. O'Connor & O'Connor, LLP, White Plains, N.Y. (Denise O'Connor and Marilyn Felenstein of counsel), for appellant. Chesney, Murphy & Moran, Baldwin, N.Y. (Tara A. LaBella of counsel), for respondent.

In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, the defendant James A. Smith Contracting, Inc., appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Dunn, J.), dated November 26, 1997, which granted the motion of the defendant Toy's “R” Us for summary judgment on its cross claim for contractual indemnification.

ORDERED that the order is reversed, with costs, and the motion for summary judgment is denied.

 The parties' indemnification agreement is, on its face, violative of General Obligations Law § 5-322.1, since it impermissibly requires, inter alia, that James A. Smith Contracting, Inc. (hereinafter Smith), indemnify Toys “R” Us for liability arising from acts of negligence of Toys “R” Us (see, Itri Brick & Concrete Corp. v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 89 N.Y.2d 786, 789, 658 N.Y.S.2d 903, 680 N.E.2d 1200;  Quain v. Buzzetta Constr. Corp., 69 N.Y.2d 376, 514 N.Y.S.2d 701, 507 N.E.2d 294).   Accordingly, the court erred in granting the motion of Toys “R” Us for summary judgment on its cross claim for contractual indemnification.   Furthermore, no finding has yet been made with respect to the parties' respective fault, if any, for the underlying injury and, therefore, any award of summary judgment at this juncture would be premature (see, Itri Brick & Concrete Corp. v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., supra, at 795, 658 N.Y.S.2d 903, 680 N.E.2d 1200, see also, Haddock v. Fordham Commercial Redevelopment Corp., 247 A.D.2d 327, 669 N.Y.S.2d 215;  Zeigler-Bonds v. Structure Tone, 245 A.D.2d 80, 664 N.Y.S.2d 799;  cf., Warnitz v. Liro Group, Ltd., 254 A.D.2d 411, 678 N.Y.S.2d 910 ).

The parties' remaining contentions are without merit.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

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