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The Grace Period for Viable Claims Filed After Florida Amended the Construction Statute of Repose is Set to Expire on July 1, 2024

Joy Spillis Lundeen, Felix X. Rodriguez, Kelly Ruane Melchiondo, Michael C. Larmoyeux, Jr., Nicole Kwapisz, Cesar L. Avila & Jake Bland

Hour Glass in front clockThe grace period for claims that would have been viable under Florida’s 10-year statute of repose, but were no longer viable after Florida shortened the statute of repose to 7 years, is quickly approaching its expiration. On April 13, 2023, the Florida legislature amended Fla. Stat. § 95.11(3)(b) to shorten the statute of repose period from ten years to seven years, among other things. When it enacted the new 7-year repose period, the Florida legislature afforded a limited grace period through July 1, 2024 for claims that would have remained viable under the former, 10- year version.

Any outstanding construction defect or design defect claims that are not yet filed, must be filed on or before July 1, 2024 if such claims arise from real property improvements where the most recent of the following events occurred between April 14, 2013 and April 14, 2016: (i) owner’s actual possession, (ii) the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, (iii) abandonment of the project, or (iv) completion or termination of the underlying contract. Otherwise, effective July 1, 2024, any such outstanding claims will be barred under Fla. Stat. § 95.11(3)(b).

As a statute of repose, July 1, 2024 is the “drop dead” date, barring any unfiled defect actions that arise out of a project where the most recent of the above listed events occurred between April 14, 2013 and April 14, 2016. The deadline applies even if defects are latent and not discovered until after the expiration date. 

Accordingly, anyone with unfiled defect claims or potential defect claims that may have arisen between April 14, 2013 and April 14, 2016 should pay close attention, and prepare to file lawsuits before the July 1, 2024 deadline.

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