19.122.035  <<  19.122.040 >>   19.122.045

RCW 19.122.040

Underground facilities identified in bid or contract—Excavator's duty of reasonable care—Liability for damages—Attorneys' fees.

(1) Project owners shall indicate in bid or contract documents the existence of underground facilities known by the project owner to be located within the proposed area of excavation. The following are deemed to be changed or differing site conditions:
(a) An underground facility not identified as required by this chapter or other provision of law; or
(b) An underground facility not located, as required by this chapter or other provision of law, by the project owner, facility operator, or excavator if the project owner or excavator is also a facility operator.
(2) An excavator shall use reasonable care to avoid damaging underground facilities. An excavator must:
(a) Determine the precise location of underground facilities which have been marked;
(b) Plan the excavation to avoid damage to or minimize interference with underground facilities in and near the excavation area; and
(c) Provide such support for underground facilities in and near the construction area, including during backfill operations, as may be reasonably necessary for the protection of such facilities.
(3) If an underground facility is damaged and such damage is the consequence of the failure to fulfill an obligation under this chapter, the party failing to perform that obligation is liable for any damages. Any clause in an excavation contract which attempts to allocate liability, or requires indemnification to shift the economic consequences of liability, that differs from the provisions of this chapter is against public policy and unenforceable. Nothing in this chapter prevents the parties to an excavation contract from contracting with respect to the allocation of risk for changed or differing site conditions.
(4) In any action brought under this section, the prevailing party is entitled to reasonable attorneys' fees.
ReportEffective date2011 c 263: See notes following RCW 19.122.010.
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