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PIH Beaverton, LLC v. Super One, Inc.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 01-09-2013
Case #: A142268
Hadlock, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A142268.pdf

Contract Law: Under ORS 12.135(3), an improvement to real property is considered substantially complete when the contractee has accepted the completion in writing or when a contractee has accepted construction that actually has been completed.

PIH Beaverton (PIH) appealed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Super One in it’s application of ORS 12.135(1), a statute of ultimate repose setting a 10 year time limit on a person’s ability to sue a contractor for work performed. The 10 year period commences upon substantial completion. In December 1995, VIP’s Industries contracted with Super One, a general contractor, to construct a hotel. In February 1997, VIP’s filed a “Notice of Completion”. In September, 1997, the county issued its final notice of completion. PIH acquired the hotel from VIP’s in 2006. Shortly thereafter, PIH discovered multiple significant construction defects to the hotel’s interior and exterior. PIH filed a lawsuit against Super One for negligent construction in May 2007. The trial court granted summary judgment for Super One, concluding from a number of factors that construction was substantially completed in February 1997. The Court of Appeals held that under ORS 12.135(3), an improvement to real property is considered substantially complete when the contractee has accepted the completion in writing or when a contractee has accepted construction that actually has been completed. Based on the evidence presented, a fact finder could infer that construction was not substantially completed in February 1997, therefore summary judgment in favor of Super One was improper. Additionally, the Court ruled that ORS 12.135 applied to actions for indemnity, thus Super One’s cross-claims were correctly dismissed. A142268 reversed and remanded. A142301 affirmed.