This following article originally appeared in The Colorado Trial Lawyers Association – Trial Talk, August/September, 2017 Edition.
The article discusses the history of Colorado’s statute of repose for construction defect claims and analyzes a decision that corrects a flaw in the statute that had nettled litigators since 1986.
This year, the Colorado Supreme Court settled a decades-old conundrum surrounding the state’s statute of repose for construction defect claims.
A statute of repose is similar to a statute of limitations insofar as it restricts the time a plaintiff can bring a claim against a defendant. The difference is that a statute of re pose establishes a fixed period that begins on a date when the defendant acted, while a statute of limitations establishes a period that begins on a date when the plaintiff discovered his or her injury.
Colorado’s limitations and repose periods have always appeared in the same statute. Historically, this statute provided that any action against a construction professional shall be brought within two years after the claim for relief arises (the limitations period), but in no event, shall such an action be brought more than ten years after substantial completion of the improvement (the repose period).(E1)