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Are there applicable filing deadlines? How long do I have to bring a lawsuit?


FAQs About Construction Defects

Are there applicable filing deadlines? - I.E. How long do I have to bring a lawsuit?

California - There are three statutes of limitation which apply to construction defect cases in California. The first such statute (C.C.P. §337.15) requires the homeowners association or homeowner to file suit no more than ten years after "substantial completion" of the home. However, within this ten year statute there are a three (C.C.P. §338) and a four year statute (C.C.P. §337.1). The three year statute mandates that a Plaintiff homeowner association must file within three years from the time first discovered, or reasonably should have discovered, a particular defective condition. The four year statute applies to defects which are "patent" (obvious, readily observable) and requires that suit be filed no more than four years after "substantial completion" of the home. However, it is important to know that neither the three nor the four year statute may act to extend the ten year statute. Thus, if one were to discover a particular defect nine years after "substantial completion" of a home, he or she would only have one more year (so as to be within the ten year statute), within which to file suit.

Arizona - A.R.S. 12-552 requires homeowners associations or homeowners to file suit no more than eight years from substantial completion of the home. A.R.S. 12-552(B) extends the eight year statute up to one year (or nine years after substantial completion) if injury occurred or a latent defect is discovered during the eighth year after substantial completion. Within this eight year period there is a two and six year statute (A.R.S. 12-542 and A.R.S. 12-548).The two year statute is for negligence and the six year statute is for breach of the implied warranty of habitability. The time frames for both claims start running from the time the defect was first discovered. Both claims are important in a construction defect lawsuit.