INDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENTS

The Old Tom was exhausted from his exertions in saving the cats from Bowser. The trip to Yachats had to be put off for another visit. My homeowner’s insurance company paid Bowser’s vet bills under my no fault medical coverage and then immediately cancelled my coverage for claims due to pets. I informed the cats that if they ever wanted to go outdoors again they would have to sign an agreement indemnifying me from all claims due to their conduct.

I drafted the indemnification agreement and presented it to them at dinner the next evening. They emailed it to their San Francisco lawyers for review, and three weeks later they received their lawyers’ approval to sign it. When I came home from work that evening, the cats handed me the signed indemnification agreement. I thought that I saw one of the cats wink at the other, but I couldn’t be sure. I read the signed agreement carefully to make sure that it had not been altered.

I let the cats out, and they went straight to work. They were going to get even with Bowser for spoiling their trip to the coast with the Old Tom. They turned off the Shock-A-Dog system and ran a wire from the electric fence to his water bowl. Then they bit a small hole under the lip of the bowl and ran the wire inside the bowl and turned it down so that it was about an inch below the water line. Next, they connected the wire to a very fine wire screen that Bowser’s tongue was sure to touch when he lapped water from his bowl. Finally, they turned the Shock-A-Dog system back on and set it to “Very Large Dogs.” Bowser weighs 35.

They then went up to our deck, where they had a good view of Bowser’s water bowl, and waited. Bowser eventually came to get a drink, but, to the cats’ horror, he was on a leash held by you. You noticed the wire, took a photo of it with your I-Phone, and kicked the bowl free of the wire, getting your shoe wet. You then stormed over to my house with the damaged bowl and I-Phone photo and demanded that I pay you for the bowl, immediately, or you would go straight to small claims court. I gave you a ten-dollar bill, had you sign a release, and asked if I could keep the damaged bowl, to which you agreed. I then confronted the cats, who were downstairs watching TV. I demanded that they reimburse me under their indemnification agreement.

The cats calmly advised me that they would inform their San Francisco attorney who is the manager of their asset protection LLC, but they doubted that he would remit payment. They then asked me if I would please step away from the TV so they could resume watching their favorite program, “Dumb Dog Videos.” As I stepped aside I told them that I hoped that they enjoyed watching TV because after breaching their indemnification agreement they would be spending a lot of time indoors.

Allen Drescher has practiced law in Ashland and Southern Oregon since 1973. His practice areas include real estate, business law, estate planning and elder law.

© Allen Drescher