American Auto. Ins. Co. v. FDH Infrastructure Servs., LLC, 364 So.3d 1082 (Fla. 3d DCA 2023)

Florida District Court Rules Four-Year Statute of Limitations Governs Construction-Based Malpractice Claims Against Design Professionals

Florida Statute § 95.11 sets the statutes of limitations for numerous claims, but as it relates to construction-related professional negligence claims, there has been a dispute and uncertainty as to whether the two-year or four-year limitation provisions apply. Under Fla. Stat. § 95.11(4)(a), “an action for professional malpractice, other than medical malpractice, whether founded on contract or tort” must be filed within two years. However, Fla. Stat. § 95.11(3)(c) provides a four -year statute of limitations for actions “founded on the design, planning or construction of an improvement to real property.” 

In American Auto, the Third District Court of Appeal has clarified that a specific statute preempts a more general statute, and despite prior conflicting case law, Fla. Stat. § 95.11(3)(c)—tailored to construction clams—is the specific statute. Therefore, it has been ruled that the four-year statute of limitations applies to all claims founded in construction, even for professional malpractice or professional negligence.


Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2023 is prepared by Marshall Dennehey to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2023 Marshall Dennehey, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.