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Trial lawyers specializing in personal injury and civil litigation

The unusual statute of limitations for architects, engineers and other land-related professionals

  Michigan has a separate, distinct statute of limitations for the negligence of surveyors, architects, engineers and contractors who improve property.  The statute says that no claim may be brought six years after a survey or report is delivered to the customer/client, regardless of other questions regarding the "accrual" of a negligence claim.   A provision of this nature--which is often called a statute of repose--comes into play where the defect in the professional's work is not discovered until a building collapses or injury is actually suffered.  In the latter case, it may be that no claim has "accrued" until the date of injury or damage, and the normal statute of limitations (which may be as short as two years from the date the work was performed) is extended as a result.  This type of provision has the effect of "capping" the time period in which suit is allowed, regardless of the date of injury or discovery.  In the recent case of Miller v. Hepworth Land Surveyors, the Court of Appeals noted that this delivery date to the customer is the controlling date, regardless of when the victim may have become aware of the report or the error or the negligence incorporated within it.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262