On Wednesday, March 8, the Iowa Senate passed Senate File 413 (SF413), a bill that would reduce the Statute of Repose applicable to construction claims. This bill is now under discussion in the Iowa House (HF3).
Currently, Iowa has a 15-year Statute of Repose for all claims arising out of a defective or unsafe condition of an improvement to real property, which is one of the longest statutes of repose in the nation. This bill would reduce Iowa's Statute of Repose from the current 15 years to 8 years for commercial construction and 10 years for residential construction, with certain exceptions, including the following:
- claims regarding nuclear power plants and interstate pipelines would maintain a 15-year repose period;
- claims based upon intentional misconduct or fraudulent concealment of unsafe or defective conditions would maintain a 15-year repose period; and
- finally, if the unsafe or defective condition was discovered within one year of the expiration of the statute of repose period, the repose period would be extended for one additional year.
If signed into law, the bill's reduction of the statute of repose would be hugely beneficial for Iowa construction companies and design professionals, both in terms of shortening the time period during which these companies can be sued, as well as a possible reduction in the insurance premiums paid by these companies.
Please contact attorney Jodie McDougal should you have any questions regarding this bill. We will keep you posted as this bill moves forward.