2015 PROPOSED LEGISLATIVE CHANGES

Attention:  Below is a major change being proposed to the current construction defect statute.  To read more about the impact of this legislation and what you can do about it, please see our BeWaRe article on this important topic.

Original Filed Version

HB501           2015

A bill to be entitled

An act relating to limitation of actions; amending s. 95.11, F.S.; reducing the period during which an action must be brought for a latent defect in the design, planning, or construction of an improvement to (Line 6 in original filed version begins here) real property; reenacting s. 627.441(2), F.S., (Line 6 in original filed version ends here) relating to commercial general liability policy coverage to contractors for completed operations, to incorporate the amendment made by the act to s. 95.11, F.S., in a reference thereto; providing an effective date.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

Section 1.Paragraph (c) of subsection (3) of section 95.11, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

95.11Limitations other than for the recovery of real property.—Actions other than for recovery of real property shall be commenced as follows:

(3) WITHIN FOUR YEARS.—

(c)An action founded on the design, planning, or construction of an improvement to real property, with the time running from the date of actual possession by the owner, the date of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, the date of abandonment of construction if not completed, or the date of completion or termination of the contract between the professional engineer, registered architect, or licensed contractor and his or her employer, whichever date is latest; except that, when the action involves a latent defect, the time runs from the time the defect is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence. In any event, the action must be commenced within 710 years after the date of actual possession by the owner, the date of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, the date of abandonment of construction if not completed, or the date of completion or termination of the contract between the professional engineer, registered architect, or licensed contractor and his or her employer, whichever date is latest.  (Line 38 in original filed version)

(Line 39 in original filed version) Section 2. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment made by this act to section 95.11, Florida Statutes, in a reference thereto, subsection (2) of section 627.441, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read:

627.441 Commercial general liability policies; coverage to contractors for completed operations.—

(2)A liability insurer must offer coverage at an appropriate additional premium for liability arising out of current or completed operations under an owner-controlled insurance program for any period beyond the period for which the program provides liability coverage, as specified in s. 255.0517(2)(b). The period of such coverage must be sufficient to protect against liability arising out of an action brought within the time limits provided in s. 95.11(3)(c).

Section 3.This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.

Amendment (with title Amendment)

Between lines 38 and 39, insert: 

Section 2. The amendment to s. 95.11(3)(c), Florida Statutes, made by this act shall apply to any action commenced on or after July 1, 2015, regardless of when the cause of action accrued, except that any action that would not have been barred under s. 95.11(3)(c), Florida Statutes, prior to the amendment made by this act may be commenced before July 1, 2016, and if it is not commenced by that date and is barred by the amendment to  s. 95.11(3)(c), Florida Statutes, made by this act, it shall be barred.

Remove line 6 and insert:

real property; providing for applicability; reenacting s. 627.441(2), F.S.,

CODING:  Words stricken are deletions;  words underlined and in red are additions to the current statute.  Words in blue are written in by BWR to give the reader context.

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