A new Oregon Statute (SB 46) will provide more protection to design professionals (persons registered to practice architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering) for work involving certain large commercial structures, by reducing the statute of ultimate repose for actions from 10 to 6 years.
A statute of ultimate repose differs from a statute of limitations, in that a statute of ultimate repose is a final deadline by which a lawsuit must be brought or it is barred.
Previously, lawsuits against design professionals needed to be brought within 2 years after the date the injury or damage is first discovered or should have been discovered. This two‐year time period is a statute of limitation.
Under the statute of ultimate repose, a lawsuit must be brought against a design professional, regardless of the date of discovery, within 6 years after substantial completion or abandonment of the construction, alteration or repair.
Prior to passage of SB 46, the statute of ultimate repose was 10 years no matter the type or size of structure, whether residential or commercial.
While SB 46 reduces the statute of ultimate repose for design professionals, but only for suits involving “large commercial structures” that are not owned or maintained by a homeowners association or condominium association. A large commercial structure is defined in ORS 701.005 and “means a structure that is not a residential structure or small commercial structure.”
The statute of ultimate repose remains 10 years for all types of structure, including small commercial structures, residential structures, or large commercial structures owned or maintained by a homeowners or condo association.
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