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Florida Construction Law News

24APR 2017

The Time Machine Known as the Relation-Back Doctrine

by Sean L. Mullhall, Esq.

While considered procedural, the “relation back doctrine” has a substantive effect that can either be a life-saver or a frustration (depending on what side of the issue you are on). The doctrine allows an amendment to a pleading, well after the original filing and service of that pleading, to relate back to the date of the original pleading. So, for example, for a case filed in 2014, an amendment to a pleading filed in 2017 will be treated as if the amendment was part of the original pleading filed in 2014. The doctrine is well-established in both Florida and federal law.

07APR 2017

Professional Negligence in Construction: Which Statute of Limitations Applies?

by Stephen W. Stukey, Esq.

It is a fairly common fact pattern in construction defect claims: A design professional, such as an architect or engineer, is contracted by a client to provide a design, and perhaps perform construction administration for, an improvement to real property. Construction is completed, and everything seems fine for four or more years until the client asserts defects and deficiencies that implicate the services of the design professional. Upon further investigation, it appears the client knew of the alleged defects and deficiencies for at least two years before filing suit for professional negligence. The question invariably arises, “are the claims barred by the statute of limitations?”

01JUL 2016

Florida Appellate Court Holds Four-Year Statute of Limitations Applicable Irrespective of Contractor Licensure

by Clay H. Whittaker, Esq.

In Brock v. Garner Window & Door Sales, Inc.,[1] Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal rejected a novel attempt to circumvent Florida’s well-established four-year statute of limitations for all actions founded on the construction of an improvement to real property.  Plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract as a result of water intrusion damage Read More…

27JUL 2015

Construction Law Update: Date of Final Payment Integral in Evaluating Applicability of the Statute of Repose

by Christie Bredahl

The Fifth District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida recently issued an opinion in Cypress Fairway Condominium Association, Inc. v. Bergeron Construction Co., Inc., No. 5D13-4102, 2015 WL 2129473 (Fla. 5th DCA May 8, 2015), directly addressing the issue of when a construction contract is complete for purposes of determining if a lawsuit Read More…

19FEB 2015

CSK’s Legislative Update – House Bill 501

by David S. Harrigan, Esq.

In addition to HB 87 / SB 418, CSK also continues to monitor the progress of House Bill (“HB”) 501, entitled “Limitation of Actions,”  as it makes its run through the 2015 session of the Florida legislature.  The objective of HB 501 is to alter the current state of Florida law regarding the time within Read More…

05MAY 2014

The Florida Supreme Court Limits the Statute of Limitations: Caduceus Properties v. William Graney

by Craig S. Distel, Esq.

The Florida Supreme Court’s recent decision in Caduceus Properties v. William Graney, et al.[1] limits the applicability of the Statute of Limitations to a primary Plaintiff attempting to file a direct claim against a previously named Third-Party Defendant. The case addressed the timeliness of an Amended Complaint with a direct claim against a Third-Party Defendant Read More…

26JAN 2014

Statute of Limitations and Statute of Repose in Florida Construction Law Matters

by Thomas Shea

Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal recently issued an opinion changing the burden under Florida’s Statute of Repose for a party to demonstrate that a lawsuit based on the “design, planning, or construction of an improvement to real property” was barred for not being filed within the allotted period of time. § 95.11(3)(c), Fla. Stat. Read More…

27AUG 2012

A Tale of Two Districts: Florida Courts Split on the Application of Relation Back To Add Third Party Defendants As Direct Defendants After Expiration of the Statute of Limitations

by Stephen W. Stukey, Esq.

The situation is a familiar one. An Owner of a completed construction project notifies the Architect and/or General Contractor of alleged construction deficiencies at a Project. Review by the Architect reveals that the alleged deficiencies, if true, relate to the work of its sub-consultants (or in the case of a General Contractor his subcontractors). The Read More…

25MAY 2012

S.O.L on Claims Against Subcontractors for Latent Defects

by Christopher Burrows

The case of Joel and Marcia Hochberg v. Thomas Carter Painting, Inc., 36 Fla.L. Weekly D1200f, addresses the point of time at which the statute of limitations begins to run in latent defects cases.  In 2000, homeowners, Joel and Marcia Hochberg, hired a general contractor to construct a new home for them, and the general contractor Read More…

26APR 2012

Time’s up!: Florida Supreme Court may Consider Statute of Limitations Dispute in Multi-Party Construction Defect Claim

by Alejandro Perez

Time’s up! That’s never a phrase we want to hear. It evinces memories of school tests and entrance exams. Well, in the legal arena, deadlines are all the more critical. Litigants often fight over filing deadlines for cases, or statutes of limitation, in the prosecution and defense of claims. Most recently, the First District Court Read More…