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Implied Warranty and Other Statute of Limitations Questions

Discussion in 'Consumer Law, Contracts, Warranties' started by MustangGuy347, Jul 20, 2020.

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  1. MustangGuy347

    MustangGuy347 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Pennsylvania
    A very long story short, I had a new home constructed and have had numerous problems with the home; many of which the builder has refused to correct, including my hardwood floors. Below are the key points:


    · Construction contract was signed in Feb. 2015.

    · Certificate of Occupancy was issued by the township on December 2015.

    · Final payment was signed off on December 2015, a few weeks after the Certificate of Occupancy was issued.

    · Within a few months of moving into the home, we noticed the hardwood floor was damaged and the floor was splintering at the edges.

    · On March 2016, a flooring inspector (commissioned by the flooring manufacturer) came to my home to investigate the splintering of the floor.

    · In April 2016, I informed my builder of the continuing splintering problem.

    · The builder took little accountability for the flooring problem and blamed the material.

    · In May 2016 I obtained a copy of the flooring inspection that was commissioned by the flooring manufacturer – which stated that the floor was damaged by the installer.

    · In July 2016, some repairs were made on my floors (replacement of the most damaged floorboards) by the builder. The repairs were not satisfactory to me as the damage was widespread throughout my floor.

    · Since my builder was giving the run around on replacing my floor, I commissioned another flooring inspector to review my floor in May 2017.

    · The flooring inspector I commissioned confirmed that the floor was damaged during install and the only way to resolve the problem is to completely replace the floor.

    · My builder continued to make repairs in my home from 2017-2018 due to pressure from my attorney but still would not fix the hardwood floors.

    · I filed for arbitration in December 2019.

    · Due to Covid-19 delays and other factors, the arbitration hearing is schedule for the end of the month.


    I did not have an explicit warranty in my contract. Therefore, it is my understanding that in Pennsylvania the implied warrant is four years. I am assuming that the four years begins from the date that I take possession of the home. I filed for arbitration within four years of the Certificate of Occupancy being issued and within four years of my signing off on the final payment. However, I did not file within four years of signing the construction contact.


    Is my understanding of the duration of the implied warranty being four years correct? Does the four years start once I take possession of the home?


    I have also read some things that the problems with my floor may be considered a latent defect so the statute of limitations may begin from the time that I discovered the problem. Also, the fact that my builder made repairs to the floor may “reset” the statute of limitations.


    From what I have gathered, in PA there is a four-year statute of limitations on contracts and a statute of limitations of 12 years after completion.


    One of the arguments that my builder’s attorney has made is that the two-year statute of limitations on negligence was expired. I am not sure how this applies in my case or if his attorney is just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.


    Any comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You HAVE discussed all of these things with your attorney, right?
     
  3. MustangGuy347

    MustangGuy347 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Zigner,

    Yes. This whole thing has been a nightmare. To continue with the long-story....I have never been through anything like this. My town isn't that large and anyone who is anyone knows each other. My first attorney had the opinion that trying to come to a settlement would be cheaper than going to arbitration. Negotiations of a settlement really didn't go anywhere and the builder mostly just sat on his hands. The retailer that sold the product to my builder got involved which caused my attorney to have to withdraw from representing me due to conflict of interest.

    The second law firm that I went to was awful. The attorney that was first assigned to me was also of the mindset to negotiate a settlement. He nickle and dimed me for every little thing. While representing me, he left the firm to take a magistrate position and gave me no notice at all. I didn't find out until weeks later when I tried repeatedly to reach him via email and then another attorney at the firm finally responded to me. Soon after, I canned the law firm from representing me.

    While both attorney's stated that my case was solid (I had emails, texts, and all kinds of documentation), going to arbitration seemed like a bad financial decision based upon a cost - benefit analysts. However, I was upset because I caught wind that this builder does not have the greatest reputation and may have pulled similar things with his other customers.

    At this point, it became about the principle of the matter. Out of desperation, I found an attorney from out of town, with very little experience in construction, to help me out at a very discounted rate. This has allowed me to pursue arbitration as the expense to do so was minimized.

    The agreement between the attorney and myself was that we would work on this together. I am just trying to clarify as many facts as I can and get some tips / advice so that I can be as prepared as possible.

    Is this the most ideal situation? No. Like I said, at this point it is about the principle of the matter. Most people would have rolled over and payed out of pocket to fix the problems in their home. It's my impression that my builder knows this and that's why he does the things he does. I'm just trying to hold him accountable.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    When a lawsuit becomes a crusade, or one alleges its only about principle (fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning) the outcome is often not what the pursuer of truth and righteousness envisioned or desired.
     

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