Many people buy a new home and then discover serious problems. Others have work done on an older home that turns out to be below standard. When this happens, homeowners may have a valid claim for construction defects. A recent case is a reminder that people with a construction defect claim must make it promptly, or the claim may be lost.
A husband and wife hired a contractor to build a new home. About a year after moving in, they noticed the siding was buckling and warped. The builder tried but could not fix the problem, and the siding’s manufacturer told the couple it was installed wrong. The parties spent a long time trying to resolve the matter, but could not reach a settlement. Finally, the couple filed a lawsuit against the builder and manufacturer of the siding.
A court dismissed the couple's case because the legal deadline for filing a lawsuit (the "statute of limitations") passed. The court noted that once the couple discovered the problem, the statute of limitations started to run. The couple argued the builder and manufacturer caused them to delay filing a lawsuit because of their settlement negotiations. But the court rejected this, saying the statute of limitations continued to run even during these discussions.
Statutes of limitations for construction defect lawsuits vary from state to state. There are complicated rules about when they start and when they can be put on hold. Different rules can apply to defects which are readily apparent than for those which are not easily seen.
If you have a construction defect claim, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Not only are there strict deadlines for making legal claims, but the longer you wait to make a claim the more likely evidence will get lost or destroyed and people involved in the case will move or their memories will fade. Don't make the mistake of letting the other side delay things by stretching out settlement talks while the statute of limitations is running. You could find yourself unable to make a claim and having to pay all your losses yourself, just like the couple in the case above.
Contact an attorney at Triscaro & Associates today. Please call us for all your legal needs. We offer a full range of legal services to individuals, families and businesses, including personal injury, estate planning, real estate, family law and business matters. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality legal services at a reasonable cost.