As discussed in a prior blog post, in Gindel v. Centex Homes, 2018 Fla.App. LEXIS 13019, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal held that when the plaintiffs provided a pre-suit notice in compliance with §558.004 of Florida’s construction defect Right-to-Cure statute, Fla. Stat. §§ 558.001 to 558.005, et. seq., they commenced a “civil action or proceeding,” i.e. an “action,” within the meaning of Florida’s construction defect Statute of Repose, Florida Statue § 95.11(3)(c). Thus, the court held that the plaintiffs commenced their action prior to the time Florida’s 10-year statute of repose period ended. In overturning the lower court’s dismissal of the action, the court found that because the Right-to-Cure statute, §558 of the Florida Statutes, sets out a series of mandatory steps that must be taken prior to bringing a judicial action, filing pre-suit notice of claim sufficiently constituted an “action” for purposes of Florida’s Statute of Repose.
For various reasons, the parties appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Florida. In July of 2019, before the Florida Supreme Court could decide whether to hear the case, the Florida legislature passed legislation that effectively overruled the decision. To overrule the decision, the Florida Legislature modified § 558.004 of Florida’s Right-to-Cure statute to expressly state that a notice of claim served pursuant to the Right-to-Cure statute does not toll the 10-year statute of repose period for construction claims. See Fla. Stat.
This article serves as a good reminder that some jurisdictions have Right-to-Cure statutes and that you should take into consideration their impact on a jurisdiction’s Statute of Repose. Additionally, it is always good to stay abreast on possible changes in the law.