Each state has its own laws regarding how, when and under what circumstances a person may file a lawsuit for damages caused by a construction defect. Illinois is no different. Like in every other state, Illinois law contains stipulations and exceptions within each statute that further limit an injured party’s ability to pursue compensation. Two such stipulations are the “statute of repose” and the “right to cure.” 

All civil claims are subject to a “statute of limitations,” which specify within how many years within the discovery of a defect or damages a person must file a lawsuit. According to FindLaw, the statute of limitations for construction defects is four years. However, Illinois further limits Illinois property owners and occupiers from filing a lawsuit after so many years, even if a property owner has yet to discover a defect. The second limitation is called the “statute of repose.” 

The statute of repose gives a property owner or occupier X amount of years to discover and report a defect. In Illinois, the statute of repose is 10 years from the date of the first sale, delivery or lease to an initial user, or 12 years from the first sale, delivery or lease of possession by a seller. For example, say a property owner sustains injuries due to a defect during the eighth year of ownership. Though the statute of limitations says he or she may file a lawsuit within four years, the statute of repose grants him or her just two additional years left to do so. The exception to the state-mandated statute of repose is if the defendant guaranteed the product for a longer period, and the claimant brings the lawsuit within that period. 

Claimants throughout many other states are also subject to the “right to cure.” According to FindLaw, the right to cure allows the construction professional to cure any alleged defects and pay for damages before the property or project owner may proceed with a lawsuit. Illinois law does not grant a right to cure. 

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