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Michigan Supreme Court Concludes No Statute of Repose on Breach of Contract

July 19, 2011 — CDJ Staff

Judge Marilyn Kelly of the Michigan Supreme Court has remanded the case of Miller-Davis Co. v. Ahrens Constr. Inc. (Mich., 2011) to the Court of Appeals, after determining that the court had improperly applied the statute of repose. She reversed their judgment, pending a new trial.

Ahrens Construction was a subcontractor, hired by Miller-Davis to build and install a natatorium room at a YMCA camp in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After its installation, the YMCA discovered a severe condensation problem, causing moisture to “rain” from the roof. The architect, testifying for Miller-Davis, alleged that the problems were due to improper installation by Ahrens. Ahrens claimed that the condensation problem was due to a design error.

When the roof was removed and reconstructed, the moisture problem ended. Ahrens argued that the alleged defects were caused by the removal. Further, in trial Ahrens raised the issue of the statute of repose. The court found in favor of Miller-Davis and did not address the statute of repose.

The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, determining that the statute of repose had barred the suit. This rendered the other issues moot.

The Michigan Supreme concluded that the issue at hand was “a suit for breach of contract,” and that the Michigan statute of repose is limited to tort actions. They remanded the case to the Court of Appeals to address the issues that had been mooted by the application of the statute of repose.

Read the court’s decision…

Michigan Supreme Court Concludes No Statute of Repose on Breach of Contract