The statute of limitations is a fairly well-known legal aspect that many people have some familiarity with. It serves as the time period in which someone can act on claims for personal injury or property damage, and it eventually expires.
A lesser-known statute of a similar standing is the statute of repose. This relates to construction-related claims and puts a 10-year deadline on cases in which those seeking claims must act.
What does a statute of repose apply to?
The California Legislative Information discusses a statute of repose. First, they look at who the statute applies to. It applies to claims that address defects in the design, surveying, specification, supervision, planning or observation of construction (or improvement) to real property. It focuses on injuries that happen because of these defects. It does not apply to the person developing the property, or those supervising, testing, surveying, planning or observing this construction.
What is the substantial completion of a contract?
What constitutes substantial completion of a contract, then? Four events that could count include the date of the final inspection by a public agency, the date of occupation or use of the construction, the date of a recording notice stating completion, or a year after the cessation or termination of improvement work. Thus, the ten-year claim period starts from this moment and lasts for the next ten years.
This statute protects the construction industry as well as real estate development, ensuring that contractors, engineers, architects and others do not worry about claims brought against them for work done before the effective statutory deadline. However, as with all construction litigation, complexities often occur that may require the guidance of legal help.