On January 27th, Senator Robert Rodriguez introduced SB 20-138 into the Colorado Legislature. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee and has not yet been scheduled for its first hearing in that committee. In short, Senate Bill 20-138, if enacted, would:
- Extend Colorado’s statute of repose for construction defects from 6+2 years to 10+2 years;
- Require tolling of the statute of repose until the claimant discovers not only the physical manifestation of a construction defect, but also its cause; and
- Permit statutory and equitable tolling of the statute of repose.
Colorado’s statute of repose for construction defect claims are codified at C.R.S. § 13-80-104. In 1986, the Colorado Legislature set the statute of repose period at 6+2 years. For the last 34 years, Colorado’s statute of repose for owners’ claims against construction professionals has been substantially the same, to wit:
(1) (a) Notwithstanding any statutory provision to the contrary, all actions against any architect, contractor, builder or builder vendor, engineer, or inspector performing or furnishing the design, planning, supervision, inspection, construction, or observation of construction of any improvement to real property shall be brought within the time provided in section 13-80-102 after the claim for relief arises, and not thereafter, but in no case shall such an action be brought more than six years after the substantial completion of the improvement to the real property, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section.
(2) In case any such cause of action arises during the fifth or sixth year after substantial completion of the improvement to real property, said action shall be brought within two years after the date upon which said cause of action arises.