https://cruglaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/NEWS-icon.png 400 400 Renee Garner https://cruglaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/CRUG-Logo-White.png Renee Garner2023-08-02 15:18:382023-08-03 09:56:51Statue of Repose Victory
In Martins Ferry City School Dist. Bd. of Edn. v. Colaianni Constr., Inc., 2023-Ohio-2285 (7th Dist.) Evan Palik, CRUG’s Akron Office, successfully defended a roofing contractor in a claim brought by a school district for breach of construction contract. Evan won summary judgment in the trial court on the basis that the district’s claims were barred by Ohio’s statute of repose that bars claims against contractors asserted ten years after the date of substantial completion of a construction project. The district appealed arguing that the statute of repose does not apply because the cause of action had not yet accrued, that the contractor engaged in fraud which is not limited by the statute of repose, and that the contractor provided express warranties beyond the ten year statutory limitation.
The appellate court affirmed holding that the repose period begins to run when a specific event occurs (here substantial completion), regardless of whether a cause of action has accrued or whether any injury has resulted. The court further held that the fraud exception to the application of the statute of repose does not apply in the absence of a substantive cause of action for fraud, plead with particularity pursuant to Civ.R. 9(B). And lastly, the court held that no express warranty for workmanship by the contractor can be found in the contract documents.