Statute of Repose Begins to Run on Negligence and Implied Warranty Claims when Building Occupants are First Issued Certificate of Occupancy

Great N. Ins. Co. v. Architectural Env’ts, Inc., 514 F. Supp. 2d 139 (D. Mass. 2007)

On a motion for summary judgment, the Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts held that for the purposes of the statute of repose, the limitation period began running when the temporary certificate of occupancy was issued on the building in question. 

In this case, a fire occurred at a commercial property as a result of an electrical malfunction.  The occupant’s insurer sued the mechanical and electrical contractor responsible for design and renovation of the building.  The court held that the statute of repose began to run on the date that the temporary certificate of occupancy was issued on the building, and not at the later date when the permanent certificate was issued.  Thus, the plaintiff’s claims for negligence and implied warranties were time-barred by the six-year statute of repose.  Express warranties, however, were not subject to the statute of repose and those claims survived summary judgment.

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