Summary judgment in Florida construction defect case.
Our client was responsible for the design and construction of a 7,000-foot seawall on the lake of a large residential development. The seawall was constructed, and final payment was made on March 6, 2008. The developer then halted site work due to the economic downturn. It resumed work in 2014 and finalized the development of a large, single-family neighborhood in 2016. Subsequently, allegations of numerous defects in construction and design led to a lawsuit by the homeowners association, which included claims against the developer as well as our client for defects throughout the length of the seawall. That complaint was filed on September 7, 2018. The developer then filed a cross-claim on June 24, 2019, also alleging counts against our client. We argued that both claims were time barred due to the 10-year statute of repose. The homeowners argued that the statute did not begin to run until the entire development had been completed. The developer argued that there was a one-year extension in the statute for third-party claims. We distinguished both arguments and the case law upon which they were based. The court agreed, and summary judgment was entered in our client’s favor.