2007 ORS 12.135¹
Action for damages from construction, alteration or repair of improvement to real property
  • "substantial completion" defined
  • application

(1) An action against a person, whether in contract, tort or otherwise, arising from such person having performed the construction, alteration or repair of any improvement to real property or the supervision or inspection thereof, or from such person having furnished the design, planning, surveying, architectural or engineering services for such improvement, shall be commenced within the applicable period of limitation otherwise established by law; but in any event such action shall be commenced within 10 years from substantial completion or abandonment of such construction, alteration or repair of the improvement to real property.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, an action against a person for the practice of architecture, as defined in ORS 671.010 (Definitions for ORS 671.010 to 671.220), the practice of landscape architecture, as defined in ORS 671.310 (Definitions for ORS 671.310 to 671.459), or the practice of engineering, as defined in ORS 672.005 (Additional definitions), to recover damages for injury to a person, property or to any interest in property, including damages for delay or economic loss, regardless of legal theory, arising from the construction, alteration or repair of any improvement to real property shall be commenced within two years from the date the injury or damage is first discovered or in the exercise of reasonable care should have been discovered; but in any event the action shall be commenced within 10 years from substantial completion or abandonment of the construction, alteration or repair.

(3) For purposes of this section, "substantial completion" means the date when the contractee accepts in writing the construction, alteration or repair of the improvement to real property or any designated portion thereof as having reached that state of completion when it may be used or occupied for its intended purpose or, if there is no such written acceptance, the date of acceptance of the completed construction, alteration or repair of such improvement by the contractee.

(4) For the purposes of this section, an improvement to real property shall be considered abandoned on the same date that the improvement is considered abandoned under ORS 87.045 (Completion date of improvement).

(5) This section:

(a) Applies, in addition to other actions, to actions brought in the name of the state or any county or other public corporation therein, or for its benefit; and

(b) Does not apply to actions against any person in actual possession and control of the improvement, as owner, tenant or otherwise, at the time such cause of action accrues. [1971 c.664 §§2,3,4; 1983 c.437 §1; 1991 c.968 §1]

Notes of Decisions

The two-year statute of limita­tions began to run as of the date on which the injury to the plaintiff's prop­erty occurred rather than the date when the plaintiff discovered who actually caused the injury. Kashmir Corp. v. Barnes, 278 Or 433, 564 P2d 693 (1977)

Implied warranty by builder-vendors that new houses are constructed in reasonably workmanlike manner and fit for habita­tion, es­tab­lished by Yepsen v. Burgess, 269 Or 635, 525 P2d 1019 (1974), is subject to limita­tions of this sec­tion. Sponseller v. Meltebeke, 280 Or 361, 570 P2d 974 (1977)

Ac­tion for breach of express warranty against seller of apart­ments and glass company, which contracted to repair defective windows, was not barred by two year statute of limita­tions under this sec­tion, which contemplates tort rather than contract ac­tions. Portland Hous. Auth. v. Ash Nat'l., 36 Or App 391, 584 P2d 776 (1978)

This sec­tion was inapplicable to damage ac­tion against architect and heating contractor for financial losses resulting from defective heating system. Securities-Intermountain v. Sunset Fuel, 289 Or 243, 611 P2d 1158 (1980)

Where ac­tion for damages by purchaser against builder-seller of house was for amounts necessary to remedy defects in construc­tion of house, limita­tion period of this sec­tion was not applicable because ac­tion was not for bodily injury or injury to existing tangible prop­erty. Beveridge v. King, 292 Or 771, 643 P2d 332 (1982)

Equitable estoppel is not available to avoid time limita­tion of this sec­tion because to hold otherwise would thwart legislature's intent to provide absolute cutoff date for bringing ac­tions to which statute applies. Beals v. Breeden Bros., Inc., 113 Or App 566, 833 P2d 348 (1992), Sup Ct review denied

Ten-year statute of repose applies retroactively. School District No. 1J, Multnomah County v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F3d 1255 (9th Cir. 1993)

Where defendant acted in dual capacity of manufacturer and installer of asbestos products, limita­tion on ac­tions applicable to construc­tion, altera­tion and repair of real prop­erty was superseded by ORS 30.907 (Action for damages from asbestos-related disease) limita­tion on asbestos product liability. Purcell v. Asbestos Corp., Ltd., 153 Or App 415, 959 P2d 89 (1998), modified 155 Or App 1, 963 P2d 729 (1998), Sup Ct review denied

Where contractor builds own house, lack of "contractee" prevents applica­tion of this sec­tion as statute of ultimate repose for construc­tion defect. Lozano v. Schlesinger, 191 Or App 400, 84 P3d 816 (2004)

Law Review Cita­tions

52 OLR 91-104 (1972); 54 OLR 466 (1975)

Chapter 12

Notes of Decisions

An ac­tion for per­sonal injuries caused by breach of implied warranty is clearly one for which "different limita­tion is prescribed by statute" under ORS 12.010 (Time of commencing actions) and thus is not governed by pro­vi­sions of this chapter. Redfield v. Mead, Johnson & Co., 266 Or 273, 512 P2d 776 (1973)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 12—Limitations of Actions and Suits, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­012.­html (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2007, Chapter 12, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­012ano.­htm (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.