I love John Oliver. He’s smart, funny, and has an uncanny way of breaking down complicated issues into hilarious bite-sized jokes. But on Sunday night, while tackling North Dakota’s relationship with oil companies, Mr. Oliver included a bit about North Dakota’s lack of an anti-indemnity statute that was slightly off the mark. Mr. Oliver argued that the ability to contract for full indemnity, including indemnity for one’s own negligence, allows oil companies to avoid responsibility for unsafe conditions. He says about indemnity agreements:
Theoretically, even if [the oil company] were negligent and found completely at fault, [the contractor]’s insurance company would find itself paying a chunk of [the oil company]’s settlement, which in this case, it did.