Understanding time limits in construction defects cases

On Behalf of Dunlap Fiore, LLC |

This blog recently discussed the types of construction defects that can potentially lead to lawsuits. Another related area of the law it is important to be familiar with concerning construction defects are the time limits that can apply to these types of claims. Construction defects claims may be brought against architects, designers, contractors and subcontractors.

Lawsuits for construction defects may be brought according to different theories such as contract disputes, tort claims or breach of warranty claims. The type of claim that is brought can determine the deadline for filing a claim. Deadlines associated with bringing a claim are referred to as statutes of limitation. A statute of limitation provides a certain number of years to bring a lawsuit after the defect is discovered or the defect should have been discovered.

In addition, construction defects claims are subject to statutes of repose. A statute of repose essentially provides an outer limit for a construction professional to face a claim for construction defects. If, for instance, a statute of limitations is 10 years for a contract claim or 1 year for a tort claim as it is in Louisiana, the statute of repose may limit claims to 5 years for contract, tort or other claims which may extended for a year in the 5th year for injury claims.

This means that because the statute of repose is 10 years, if the defect is not discovered until the 7th year, only 3 years remain to bring the claim rather the 10 according to the statute of limitations. Understanding construction defects time limits and construction litigation in general can be complex. As a result, it is necessary for anyone facing a construction defect or construction defects lawsuit to thoroughly understand their legal protections and options.