If construction defect claims are not timely filed, Florida Statutes provide design and construction companies with a formidable defense. As a case in point, a Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge issued an Order granting summary judgment based on Fla. Stat. § 95.11(3)(c), Florida’s Statute of Limitations governing actions founded on alleged construction defects.
In Covenant Baptist Church, Inc. v. Vasallo Construction, Inc. and Lemartec Engineering & Construction Corporation, Plaintiff alleged multiple construction defects against two Defendants. The alleged defects were focused on water intrusion through the roofing systems and were known to the Plaintiff on August 13, 2006. However, four years and eleven months later, Plaintiff filed suit acknowledging that the building had “been plagued with water intrusion issues for a number of years,” and that Plaintiff’s complaints “regarding the water intrusion [had] been met largely with ‘band-aid’ type ineffective repairs.”
Lemartec Engineering & Construction Corporation (“Lemartec”), filed a Motion for Summary Judgment as to multiple counts and rested its Motion squarely on the shoulders of Florida’s four-year statute of limitations. Importantly, the statute begins to run “where there has been notice of an invasion of legal rights or a person has been put on notice of his right to a cause of action” Snyder v. Wernecke, 813 So.2d 213,216 (Fla 4th DCA 2002) (citing City of Miami v. Brooks, 70 So.2d 306 (Fla. 1954)). Plaintiff attempted to bypass the four-year nature of the statute by trying to classify the defects in question as latent.