Westpark Preserve Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Pulte Home Corporation
5/10/23, Judge Casanueva
Topics: Statute of Repose
The issue in this appeal involves the interpretation and application of Florida's statute of repose as set forth in section 95.11(3)(c), Florida Statutes (2018). Because it has nothing to do with personal injury, only the discussion of the statute of repose is included.
Some may need a reminder of what a statute of “repose” is. A statute of repose eliminates the underlying legal right; it precludes a right of action after a specified time rather than establishing a time period within which the action must be brought measured from the point in time when the cause of action accrued. A statute of repose results in the cessation of a cause of action upon the conclusion of the repose period. Thus, a statute of repose establishes an absolute bar to the filing of any claim after the expiration of the repose period and as being immune to the efforts of claimants to avoid it.
The statute of repose in this case pertained to actions founded on the design, planning, or construction of improvements to real property. Such actions must be commenced within 10 years of possession of the property by the owner, the date of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, or other specific methods of showing a handoff of the property. The claim was brought more than 10 years after a certificate of occupancy in the case, so summary judgment against the plaintiff was affirmed.