Delaware Code Title 10. Courts and Judicial Procedure § 8127. Alleged deficiencies in the construction of improvements to real property




(a) As used in this section:

(1) “Action” shall include actions at law or in equity, or otherwise, instituted and/or prosecuted by or on behalf of this State, any of its agencies, commissions, departments or political subdivisions, and by or on behalf of any other governmental subdivision, agency, department or body, as well as by or on behalf of private individuals, persons, parties, corporations, partnerships, associations and other entities.

(2) “Construction” shall include construction, erection, building, alteration, reconstruction and destruction of improvements to real property.

(3) “Contract” shall mean the prime or general contract between the general contractor, on the one hand, and the owner or agent of the owner of the real property upon which or to which the construction is to be performed or the owner or agent of the owner of the improvement to be constructed, on the other hand.

(4) “Deficiency” shall include acts and actions performed and failures to act and omissions.

(5) “Improvement” shall include buildings, highways, roads, streets, bridges, entrances and walkways of any type constructed thereon, and other structures affixed to and on land, as well as the land itself, except that such term shall not include buildings, entrances, walkways and structures used or intended to be used at the time of such construction primarily for residential purposes and uses.

(6) “Person” shall include individuals, corporations, partnerships, firms, individual proprietorships and associations of persons.

(b) No action, whether in or based upon a contract (oral or written, sealed or unsealed), in tort, or otherwise, to recover damages or for indemnification or contribution for damages, resulting:

(1) From any alleged deficiency in the construction or manner of construction of an improvement to real property and/or in the designing, planning, supervision and/or observation of any such construction or manner of construction;  or

(2) From any alleged injury to property, real, personal or mixed, arising out of any such alleged deficiency;  or

(3) From any alleged personal injuries arising out of any such alleged deficiency;  or

(4) From any alleged wrongful death arising out of any such alleged deficiency;  or

(5) From any alleged trespass arising out of any such alleged deficiency;  or

(6) From any alleged injury unaccompanied with force or resulting indirectly from any such alleged deficiency;

shall be brought against any person performing or furnishing, or causing the performance or furnishing of, any such construction of such an improvement or against any person performing or furnishing, or causing the performing or furnishing of, any such designing, planning, supervision, and/or observation of any such construction or manner of construction of such an improvement, after the expiration of 6 years from whichever of the following dates shall be earliest:

a. The date of purported completion of all the work called for by the contract as provided by the contract if such date has been agreed to in the contract itself;

b. The date when the statute of limitations commences to run in relation to the particular phase or segment of work performed pursuant to the contract in which the alleged deficiency occurred, where such date for such phase or segment of work has been specifically provided for in the contract itself;

c. The date when the statute of limitations commences to run in relation to the contract itself where such date has been specifically provided for in the contract itself;

d. The date when payment in full has been received by the person against whom the action is brought for the particular phase of such construction or for the particular phase of such designing, planning, supervision, and/or observation of such construction or manner of such construction, as the case may be, in which such alleged deficiency occurred;

e. The date the person against whom the action is brought has received final payment in full, under the contract for the construction or for the designing, planning, supervision, and/or observation of construction, as the case may be, called for by contract;

f. The date when the construction of such an improvement as called for by the contract has been substantially completed;

g. The date when an improvement has been accepted, as provided in the contract, by the owner or occupant thereof following the commencement of such construction;

h. For alleged personal injuries also, the date upon which it is claimed that such alleged injuries were sustained;  or after the period of limitations provided in the contract, if the contract provides such a period and if such period expires prior to the expiration of 2 years from whichever of the foregoing dates is earliest.

(c) Nothing in this section shall extend or lengthen, nor shall anything in this section be construed or interpreted as extending or lengthening, the period otherwise prescribed by the laws of this State for the bringing of any action covered by this section.

(d) The limitations prescribed by this section shall not be available by way of a defense to any person in actual possession or actual control, as owner, tenant or otherwise, of such an improvement at the time when the alleged deficiency in such an improvement constitutes the proximate cause of the injury or death for which it is proposed to bring an action.





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