The Oregon Supreme Court will review two recent Court of Appeals decisions related to statutes of limitation and repose on construction projects. In the first case, Sunset Presbyterian Church v. Brockamp & Jaeger, Inc., the Oregon Supreme Court will address the following questions: (1) When the construction contract includes an accrual provision, is the statute of limitations trigger, “substantial completion,” the actual event of substantial completion or the date on which the architect certifies substantial completion? (2) For purposes of the 10-year statute of repose, what constitutes “substantial completion” in the absence of the owner’s written acceptance of the project?
In the second case, PIH Beaverton, LLC v. Super One, Inc., the Court will decide the related issues of whether (1) posting a notice of completion under Oregon’s Construction Lien Law establishes the date of substantial completion, thus starting the statute of ultimate repose period; and (2) absent written acceptance by an owner, “substantial completion” occurs and the ultimate repose period begins running when the owner takes possession and uses a project for its intended purpose.
These cases present the Oregon Supreme Court with an opportunity to clarify several important issues, which will become increasingly important in light of recent legislative changes decreasing the statute of repose for large commercial projects.