If you’ve been accused of a construction defect, you would do well to research your state’s statute of limitations and statute of repose. This is one of the most common and effective defenses against construction defect claims because they limit the amount of time that claimants have to establish a legitimate defect claim.
In this brief article, we discuss these statutes in detail as well as what contractors, subcontractors, material providers, and design professionals can do if a construction defect claim is being filed against them. For a legal ally who will defend your company from unsubstantiated claims, the Houston construction defect attorneys from Cotney Law are here to help.
Statute of Repose
In the state of Texas, the statute of repose is 10 years after substantial completion, meaning that an owner has a full decade to file a construction defect claim against you once a project has ended. As specified in Sections 16.008 and 16.009 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, this applies to:
- Injury, damage, or loss to real or personal property;
- Personal injury;
- Wrongful death;
- Contribution; or
This 10-year period can be extended by two years if the claimant presents a written claim or if damage, injury, or death occurs in the 10th year of the limitations period.
Statute of Limitations
Of note, the 10-year statute of limitations is not the only limitation to keep in mind. Claimants may be held to a four-year or even two-year deadline. As stipulated by Section 16.003, a claimant has two years to file a claim “after the day the cause of action accrues.” A claimant will have four years to file a claim if it involves a claim for breach of contract. However, the 10-year statute of repose still applies regardless of when the defect is discovered. Further complicating matters is the fact that these two- and four-year deadlines do not apply to the state or a political subdivision of the state.
Defending Against a Construction Defect Claim
Statutes of repose and limitations are designed to aid defendants, but as you can see above, it can be difficult to determine which statutes apply to a specific case. For this reason and more, we recommend consulting a Houston construction defect attorney if a construction defect claim has been filed against you. A lawyer with Cotney Law can not only determine if a claim is legitimate but also build a staunch defense around your case if it is. Before you end up footing the bill for a claim you didn’t cause, reach out to the experienced team at Cotney Law.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.