A statute of repose establishes the time limitation of the right to begin legal proceeds on a specific cause of action after which no suit can be preserved. For claims against Design Professionals the suit must be brought within a specific time period that starts from a specified event (substantial completion). Statute of repose is different from the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations runs from when the party filing the claim knew or reasonably should have known of the damages. The statute of repose does not absolve a Design Professional of all liability but does provide a specific time frame, depending on the State, for action to be brought against the Professional.
The statute of repose for construction-related claims should be interpreted with the assistance of legal counsel familiar with the jurisdiction. Below is the statute for Colorado.
LIMITATION OF ACTIONS
ARTICLE 80. LIMITATIONS – PERSONAL ACTIONS
13-80-104. Limitation of actions against architects, contractors, builders or builder
vendors, engineers, inspectors, and others
(1) (a) Notwithstanding any statutory provision to the contrary, all actions against any
architect, contractor, builder or builder vendor, engineer, or inspector performing or
furnishing the design, planning, supervision, inspection, construction, or observation of
construction of any improvement to real property shall be brought within the time
provided in section 13-80-102 after the claim for relief arises, and not thereafter, but in
no case shall such an action be brought more than six years after the substantial
completion of the improvement to the real property, except as provided in subsection (2)
of this section.
(b) (I) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (b), a
claim for relief arises under this section at the time the claimant or the claimant’s
predecessor in interest discovers or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should
have discovered the physical manifestations of a defect in the improvement which
ultimately causes the injury. (II) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of
this subsection (1), all claims, including, but not limited to indemnity or contribution,
by a claimant against a person who is or may be liable to the claimant for all or part
of the claimant’s liability to a third person:
(A) Arise at the time the third person’s claim against the claimant is settled or at the
time final judgment is entered on the third person’s claim against the claimant,
whichever comes first; and
(B) Shall be brought within ninety days after the claims arise, and not thereafter.
(C) Such actions shall include any and all actions in tort, contract, indemnity, or
contribution, or other actions for the recovery of damages for:
(I) Any deficiency in the design, planning, supervision, inspection, construction,
or observation of construction of any improvement to real property; or
(II) Injury to real or personal property caused by any such deficiency; or
(III) Injury to or wrongful death of a person caused by any such deficiency.
(2) In case any such cause of action arises during the fifth or sixth year after substantial
completion of the improvement to real property, said action shall be brought within two
years after the date upon which said cause of action arises.
(3) The limitations provided by this section shall not be asserted as a defense by any
person in actual possession or control, as owner or tenant or in any other capacity, of
such an improvement at the time any deficiency in such an improvement constitutes the
proximate cause of the injury or damage for which it is proposed to bring an action.
Your attorney and claims representative can help with the statutes in your specific jurisdiction of work. If you do have any questions please be sure to ask your PUI Agent how they can be of assistance.