Finding a construction defect within the statute of repose

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Finding a construction defect within the statute of repose

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2020 | Construction Litigation

Perhaps when you bought your new home, you were careful about obtaining all information about possible construction defects. At the time, there did not appear to be issues. 

Now your home is less than five years old and subsurface problems are developing. You have just passed the statute of limitations for holding the builder liable, but what about the statute of repose? 

A little background 

Defects often occur in new construction, which is why you asked lots of questions and walked through the property often before you moved in. As recent retirees, you and your spouse planned to spend a great deal of time in your new home, so you did not want structural deficiencies, heating and cooling system defects, faulty drainage problems, or other such issues. You felt that there were no defects to worry about until you approached year five of homeownership. 

What happened 

One problem you could not see with the naked eye was a subsurface issue that has led to settling and shifting in certain areas of the home. Cracks have developed in the basement floor and gaps around a window frame in the kitchen. The problems developed slowly and may have resulted from soil that was not properly compacted during construction. You want to determine if construction defect laws apply to this situation despite the statute of limitations having passed. 

Illinois statutes 

In the state of Illinois, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit based on a suspected construction defect is four years, and you have occupied your home for longer than that. However, construction professionals are still liable under the statute of repose, which is 10 years. The settling problem in your home did not become apparent until you had lived there for almost five years. Therefore, under this statute, you still have five years in which to file a claim and receive recompense. 

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