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What is the Statute of Limitations for Construction Defect Claims in Missouri?
Sep 5 2023 On Behalf of David M. Duree & Associates, P.C. Construction Defect Claims
If you discover your recent home improvement or building project has a defect, you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action. In construction law, this is known as the statute of limitations. Failing to abide by this time limit can keep you from recovering compensation for a defective construction project.
In Missouri, construction law has two statutory time limitations. First, Missouri recognizes a four-year statute of limitations to bring an action against someone for breaching the terms of a contract and causing a personal injury to you.
Missouri also recognizes a 10-year statute of repose for engineers, providers of construction services, and architects whose actions produce patent and latent construction defects. Defects in any improvement to real property are subject to the statute of repose unless the individual deliberately concealed the defect from others.
If you are seeking to bring a claim based on a construction defect or breach of contract, prepare by:
Construction law cases and contract claims are complicated. Hiring an experienced attorney to guide you and represent you along the way can make the process simpler and quicker.
You and your attorney will identify and collect evidence to support your claim. This can include copies of the contract, blueprints, and any applicable ordinances, codes, and industry standards that may have been broken.
Finally, you and your lawyer will identify the most appropriate court within which to file your claim and start your case. This may be the court where your construction project took place or where the defendant is headquartered.
The process for defending against a construction claim is similar. It includes the following steps:
You may have legal defenses available to a claim. Your attorney can help determine whether they apply and, if they do, how to use them to resolve the claim quickly.
Your attorney will need to see the contract, your design or blueprints, any waivers that the property owner or plaintiff filed, and inspections that were completed on your project. There may be other documentation needed to support your defense.
If appropriate, your attorney may recommend trying to reach a settlement with the plaintiff. This may save you money and your reputation, especially when the plaintiff has a valid claim against you.
If a settlement cannot be reached or the facts suggest you are not liable for damages, you will want to contest the claim in court. This involves responding to the plaintiff’s documents, filing motions as appropriate, and appearing in court for trial.
Your rights and response to a construction law claim are complicated, and you deserve an experienced attorney who can fully advise you of your options. Contact St. Charles County engineering and construction law attorney David M. Duree for professional assistance with your case.