Massachusetts Clarifies When the Statute of Repose is Triggered For a Multi-Phase or Multi-Building Project

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This case is a win for contractors, owners, developers, and architects as their potential liability is further limited under Massachusetts’s statute of repose for multi-phase or multi-building projects.

December 7, 2020
Jeffrey J. Vita & Anna M. Perry - Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.

Lennar Hingham Holdings, LLC (“Lennar”) built a twenty-eight-building, 150-unit condominium project containing twenty-four discrete phases over a seven-year span. The condominium association subsequently brought an action against Lennar and others alleging design and construction defects to four main components of the common elements: “decks and columns,” “roofing/flashing,” “exterior walls/flashing/building envelope,” and “irrigation system.” In response, the defendants argued that the plaintiff’s claims with respect to six of the twenty- eight buildings were barred by Massachusetts’s six-year statute of repose, G. L. c. 206 § 2B.

The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts previously held that all twenty-eight of the condominium’s buildings should be treated as a single improvement for purposes of application of the statute of repose. Subsequently, the court certified the following question to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Where the factual record supports the conclusion that a builder or developer was engaged in the continuous construction of a single condominium development comprising multiple buildings or phases, when does the six-year period for an action of tort relating to the construction of the condominium’s common or limited common elements start running?

Reprinted courtesy of Jeffrey J. Vita, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. and Anna M. Perry, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
Mr. Vita may be contacted at JVita@sdvlaw.com
Ms. Perry may be contacted at APerry@sdvlaw.com



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