06272017Headline:

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CO Supreme Court Reviews 6 Year Statute of Repose Re: Third Party Claims in Construction Defect Claims

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Does the six year statute of repose apply to third party claims if brought during the litigation or within 90 days of a settlement or judgment? The Colorado Supreme Court answered that question in the negative in the case In Re Goodman v. Heritage Builders, Inc., Colo: Supreme Court 2017.

A residential home was completed in September 2006, and sometime between March and June 2012, the homeowner discovered alleged construction defects. The homeowner sent informal notice of a claim to the general contractor in July 2013, then formal notice of a claim in October, 2013, and then filed a lawsuit asserting negligence in December 2013. The general contractor filed cross-claims and a third party complaint against two subcontractors.

The subcontractors filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming the claims were time barred by the six year statute of repose found in Section 13-80-104(1)(a). The trial court held that since the first time the general contractor received notice of the defects was July 2013, that was beyond the statute of repose. The court also held the exception found in Section 13-80-104(2) did not apply, and entered summary judgment in favor of the subcontractors.

Although prior appellate court cases held Section 13-80-104(1)(b)(II) did not toll the statute of repose, the Colorado Supreme Court disagreed. It held that the language of Section 13-80-104(1)(b)(II) is clear: third party claims are timely, irrespective of either the statute of limitations or the statute of repose, as long as the claims are brought during the litigation or within 90 days of a judgment or settlement.

The Metier Law Firm is committed to assisting people with personal injury claims throughout Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska, and we frequently serve as co-counsel to law firms nationwide. Tom Metier recently secured the largest personal injury verdict in Colorado.

 

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