I have discussed the Hensel Phelps case and the potential issues caused by both poorly drafted indemnity clauses and the lack of a statute of limitations applicable to the Commonwealth of Virginia and its agencies in 2017. New legislation (supported by various contractor groups including my friends at the AGC of Virginia) has been proposed for the 2019 General Assembly session that seeks to address at least part of this issue. While the indemnity provisions of your construction contracts can be addressed by careful drafting with the help of an experienced construction attorney, the proposed legislation (found in HB1667) seeks to address the statute of limitations issue.
The proposed legislation is described as follows:
Provides that no action may be brought by a public body on any construction contract, including construction management and design-build contracts, unless such action is brought within five years after substantial completion of the work on the project and that no action may be brought by a public body on a warranty or guarantee in such construction contract more than one year from the breach of that warranty, but in no event more than one year after the expiration of such warranty or guarantee. The bill also limits the time frame during which a public body, other than the Department of Transportation, may bring an action against a surety on a performance bond to within one year after substantial completion of the work on the project.