Statute of Limitations Begins to Run When Subcontractor Completes All Work on Subcontract, Including Change Orders

N.B. Kenney Co., Inc. v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, 876 N.E.2d 1175 (Mass. App. Ct. 2007)

In this case, the Massachusetts Appeals Court held that for the purposes of the statute of limitations, a subcontractor’s time to file suit begins to run at the completion of all work on a particular subcontract, including any change orders thereto. 

The defendant insurance company in this case moved for summary judgment on the basis that the plaintiff completed the change order giving rise to the complaint more than one year prior to filing suit and that the suit was therefor time-barred.  The court rejected this argument, holding that the subcontractor’s work on other change orders pursuant to the same subcontract tolled the limitations period until all work on the subcontract was complete.  The court noted that continued work for the same owner or on the same location, but under a new and independent subcontract would not have tolled the limitations period.

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