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A02198 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 17, 2017
        Introduced  by M. of A. PRETLOW -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Higher Education
        AN ACT to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to provid-
          ing a statute of limitations for certain actions against  professional
          engineers,   architects,  landscape  architects,  land  surveyors  and
          construction contractors and to repeal section 214-d, subdivision  (h)
          of  rule  3211  and subdivision (i) of rule 3212 of the civil practice
          law and rules relating thereto
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Statement  of findings and purpose. The legislature finds
     2  that (a) the open-ended and continuing liability imposed upon members of
     3  the design professions and  construction  contractors,  due  to  alleged
     4  deficiencies  relating to improvements to real property, has resulted in
     5  an unfair burden on such professionals and a  general  increase  in  the
     6  cost  of  both public and private improvements to real property, (b) the
     7  cost of maintaining adequate insurance coverage is so expensive  that  a
     8  significant  number of design professionals and construction contractors
     9  are forced to forego insurance coverage altogether to the  detriment  of
    10  the  public's safety and welfare. The legislature further finds that the
    11  best designed and constructed improvement is dependent upon proper main-
    12  tenance to preserve its integrity and safety and it is  thus  of  impor-
    13  tance to the public safety and welfare to ensure than an owner maintains
    14  and  repairs  that  which  is the property of the owner. The legislature
    15  therefore finds that it is necessary and desirable to establish  a  time
    16  limit  after which tort claims for personal injury or wrongful death may
    17  not be asserted against such professionals and contractors. That statute
    18  of repose set forth herein, with a claim accruing on the date  that  the
    19  improvement  was  completed,  will preserve the liability of the profes-
    20  sional and contractor during a period in which the defects, if any, will

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 2198                             2
     1  be revealed, and  therefore  will  establish  an  appropriate  limit  on
     2  liability, while affording adequate protection to the public.
     3    § 2. Section 214-d of the civil practice law and rules is REPEALED and
     4  a new section 214-d is added to read as follows:
     5    §  214-d.  Limitations  on  certain actions against professional engi-
     6  neers, architects, landscape architects, land surveyors or  construction
     7  contractors.  1. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision two of this
     8  section, no action to recover damages for injury to the  person  or  for
     9  wrongful death or for damage to property nor any action for contribution
    10  or indemnity for damages sustained on account of such injury or wrongful
    11  death  or damage to property arising from any defect in the structure or
    12  improvement resulting from  the  design,  planning,  or  supervision  of
    13  construction of an improvement to real property shall be brought against
    14  a  professional  engineer, architect, landscape architect, land surveyor
    15  or construction contractor more than ten years after the  completion  of
    16  such improvement.
    17    2.  If, by reason of such defect, an injury to the person or an injury
    18  causing wrongful death or damages to property occurs  during  the  tenth
    19  year  after  completion, an action to recover damages for such injury or
    20  wrongful death or damage to property may  be  brought  within  one  year
    21  after  the  date on which such injury occurred, but in no event may such
    22  action be brought more than eleven years after  the  completion  of  the
    23  improvement.
    24    3.  The  limitations  prescribed  by  this  section shall not apply to
    25  actions brought by one in contractual or professional privity  with  the
    26  engineer,  architect, landscape architect, land surveyor or construction
    27  contractor and shall not be asserted by way of defense by any person  in
    28  actual  possession or control as owner, tenant, or otherwise, of such an
    29  improvement at the time any defect in such improvement  constitutes  the
    30  proximate cause of the injury or death for which it is proposed to bring
    31  an action.
    32    4.  For  purposes of this section an improvement shall be deemed to be
    33  "completed" (a) when, after the improvement has been started,  a  perma-
    34  nent certificate of occupancy is issued by the municipality in which the
    35  improvement  is  situated,  if  such  is  required or is actually issued
    36  pursuant to law or regulation; or (b) if a public improvement, upon  the
    37  acceptance of the improvement by the owner, if a certificate of occupan-
    38  cy  is not required and has not been issued or (c) on the earlier of the
    39  following dates, if the provisions of paragraphs (a)  and  (b)  of  this
    40  subdivision  do not apply (i) four months prior to the last day on which
    41  mechanic's lien, resulting from work performed  or  materials  furnished
    42  with respect to such improvement, can be filed; or (ii) upon the owner's
    43  final  payment  for services rendered or materials supplied with respect
    44  to such improvement.
    45    5. An architect, engineer, landscape architect, or land surveyor shall
    46  mean a person licensed or registered as an  architect,  engineer,  land-
    47  scape  architect  or  land  surveyor,  pursuant to the provisions of the
    48  education law or any  partnership  or  corporation  lawfully  performing
    49  architectural,   engineering,   landscape   architectural  or  surveying
    50  services.
    51    § 3. Subdivisions 4 and 5 of section 214 of the civil practice law and
    52  rules, as separately amended by chapters 485   and 682 of  the  laws  of
    53  1986, are amended to read as follows:
    54    4.  an  action  to recover damages for an injury to property except as
    55  provided in [section] sections 214-c and 214-d;

        A. 2198                             3
     1    5. an action to recover  damages  for  a  personal  injury  except  as
     2  provided in sections 214-b, 214-c, 214-d and 215;
     3    §  4. Subdivision (h) of rule 3211 and subdivision (i) of rule 3212 of
     4  the civil practice law and rules are REPEALED.
     5    § 5. Nothing contained in this act shall  be  construed  as  affecting
     6  rights, obligations or duties arising under any contract entered into or
     7  any cause of action resulting from an injury which occurred prior to the
     8  effective date of this act.
     9    §  6. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
    10  ing the date on which it shall have become a law and shall apply to  all
    11  actions commenced on or after its effective date.
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