In a recent holding by the Georgia Court of Appeals, the court held that Georgia’s eight-year statute of repose applied to bar the project owner’s warranty claims. The renovation work by the contractor on the owner’s chemical tank constituted an improvement of real property, and thus, the statute of repose bared any claims eight years after substantial completion thereof. In addition, the court rejected the project owner’s claim that it qualified as a third-party beneficiary of an extended warranty contained in a report given by a subcontractor to the contractor.
In 2000, Southern States Phosphate and Fertilizer Company (“Southern States”) hired Tampa Tank & Welding, Inc (“Tampa Tank”) to renovate a tank to hold sulfuric acid. The parties’ written contract contained an express one-year warranty for material and workmanship from the date of completion. Two years later, in January 2002, the tank renovation was completed. Tampa Tank contracted with Corrosion Control Inc. (“CCI”) to design, assist with, and test the cathodic corrosion system. CCI provided only consultation and did not provide any onsite installation. Upon completion of installation, CCI supplied a report to Tampa Tank that the system was properly installed and fully functioning. Additionally, a post–installation report from CCI to Tampa Tank calculated an estimated life expectancy of forty-three to forty-five years.