A release and an indemnity have characteristics distinct from each other. A release extinguishes a claim or cause of action as would a prior judgment and is an absolute bar to any suit on the released matter. A release is designated as an affirmative defense and must be pled. Typical release language is “release, discharge, relinquish.” Releases are often present in compromise settlement agreements, but can also exist in sales transactions.
An indemnity arises from a promise by the indemnitor to safeguard or hold harmless against existing or future loss, liability, or both. Unlike a release, which suppresses a cause of action, an indemnity creates a potential cause of action between the indemnitee and the indemnitor. Typical indemnity language is “indemnify, save, protect, save/hold harmless.”
Do you have questions? You can get our FREE ebook, Environmental Litigation: What Every Attorney and Environmental Professional Needs to Know, just by providing your name and email address at this link. We promise your information won’t be shared with third persons. And if you’d like to speak with me about your case, I welcome your phone call at 972-850-8490. I look forward to speaking with you.