Statute of Repose may prohibit you from suing a Contractor

In Massachusetts, you have 6 years to sue a contractor for their work. Let’s say that you have a contractor come and install flooring in your home.. Eight years goes by and there are no problems. Then one day you are walking through your family room and the floor collapses and you are seriously injured. You find out afterwards that the floor was improperly constructed. You cannot sue the contractor. They are protected by the Statute of Repose. If you don’t discover it within the 6 years, they are immune. General tort law in MA would hold that contractor responsible for three years after the cause of action arose which in this case is when the injury occurs. The Statute of Repose overrides that.

I find this law unfair because of the unpredictability of discovering these defects. I had a situation where a potential client climbed on her kitchen counter to reach something on top of her cabinets when all of the cabinets came away from the wall and fell on top of her causing serious injury. Because the cabinets had been installed more than 6 years ago, she couldn’t recover against the contractor who improperly installed these cabinets.

Here’s a link to M.G.L. chapter 260 section 2b if you would like to read more about this subject.

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