Timeframes to pursue litigation for construction defects

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2019 | Construction law |

Homeowners in New York City want the best result from building contractors, and while many property owners receive satisfactory results, there are times when construction defects are discovered or the results were otherwise not what the contractor had promised. If this is the case, you may have a ticking clock to pursue litigation if your New York contractor refuses to resolve the issue.

The nature of the construction defect can also complicate matters. There is no single law that governs how and when to pursue litigation and for what reasons. Sometimes the defect arises from a company selling you a bad piece of drywall. In other cases, New Yorkers suffer problems because of how the remodeling or construction work was conducted. Depending on the nature of the problem, you may have a differing amount of time to file suit.

Some New Yorkers wish to pursue litigation because a company or contractor delivered goods that were not as described in the original contract. Litigation on this basis has a timeframe governed by the Statute of Limitations in Contracts for Sale. This law states that a person has four years after the breach of contract in which to file suit. Be aware that contractors and clients are authorized to reduce the time period to just one year, so clients should check their contracts to be sure their agreement was not amended in this way.

Other New Yorkers may have a problem with the service of the contractor. If your claim comes down to malpractice conducted by the contractor, you may only have a three-year window of time to file litigation. New York law allows a person to commence litigation for malpractice claims that are not related to medical malpractice. A person can seek damages regardless of a breach of contract or if the wrong was committed outside of the contract.

These are just a few examples of when construction litigation should commence in the state of New York. Because time is of the essence when construction defects are found, and due to the fact that circumstances can shorten the time frame to pursue litigation, it is best to consult professional legal counsel to make sure your claim is not disqualified due to time period or the nature of the claim.