In 2003, the Colorado General Assembly Passed the Construction Defect Action Reform Act in an effort to prevent frivolous lawsuits over alleged construction defects and to limit construction professionals’ liability for such defects. The law has broad applicability and establishes a pre-litigation Notice of Claim process aimed at reducing litigation over construction defects.
CDARA applies to any action that a person brings against a “construction professional,” involving damages “caused by a defect in the design or construction of an improvement to real property.” The law also defines construction professional broadly to include: “an architect, contractor, subcontractor, developer, builder, builder vendor, engineer or inspector performing or furnishing the design, supervision, inspection, construction or observation of the construction of any improvement to real property.”
Notice of Claim
If a person chooses to bring an action alleging a construction defect against a party meeting the definition of “construction professional,” he or she must provide the professional with a Notice of Claim describing the alleged defect in reasonably specific detail before initiating a lawsuit.
Upon receipt of the Notice of Claim, the construction professional has thirty (30) days in which to complete a physical inspection of the property. After the inspection, the professional has a certain amount of time to exercise the option of submitting an offer to repair the defect or an offer to pay money. The professional has thirty (30) days to make an offer on a residential property and forty-five (45) days for commercial property.
The claimant thereafter has fifteen (15) days to review the offer and decide whether to accept it. The claimant may file suit if the construction professional ignores the Notice of Claim, the construction professional fails to make an offer or the claimant rejects the offer.
Consult an Attorney
Construction defect cases can be complex due to the technical compliance requirements of CDARA. Colorado’s two-year statute of limitations and six-year statute of repose to bring construction defect claims further complicate the timing of bringing suit for such claims. As such, you need to consult with an experienced construction defect attorney the first moment you first become aware of a perceived defect.