Unique Equip. Co., Inc. v. TRW Vehicle Safety Sys., Inc
In Unique Equip. Co., Inc. v. TRW Vehicle Safety Sys., Inc., 197 Ariz. 50, 53, P10, 3 P.3d 970, 973 (App. 1999), a TRW employee, Dyse, was harmed due to an equipment failure. 197 Ariz. at 52, PP2-3, 3 P.3d at 972. The equipment in question had been designed by TRW and manufactured by Unique Equipment for TRW so that TRW employees could use it in their employment.
When Dyse was injured in an equipment failure at work, she was covered by workers' compensation and thus was precluded from making a claim against TRW.
She nevertheless brought a products-liability claim against Unique Equipment.
Unique Equipment then asserted a third-party indemnity claim against TRW. Id.
In analyzing whether Unique Equipment's indemnity action against TRW was precluded by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act, we determined that the Act, which protected employers from "damages at common law. . . for injury or death of an employee," barred a common law indemnity action against an employer by a third-party manufacturer such as Unique Equipment. Id. at 53, P6, 3 P.3d at 973.
Nevertheless, we noted that a contractual-indemnity claim would not have been barred because the exclusive remedy provisions only precluded employer liability for "damages at common law."
"To interpret our statutes as foreclosing common law indemnification actions to parties like Unique does not preclude them from making contractual indemnity part of their arrangement with the employer." Id. at 55, P17, 3 P.3d at 975.