Louisiana Revised Statutes Tit. 9, § 2772. Peremptive period for actions involving deficiencies in surveying, design, supervision, or construction of immovables or improvements thereon




A. Except as otherwise provided in this Subsection, no action, whether ex contractu, ex delicto, or otherwise, including but not limited to an action for failure to warn, to recover on a contract, or to recover damages, or otherwise arising out of an engagement of planning, construction, design, or building immovable or movable property which may include, without limitation, consultation, planning, designs, drawings, specification, investigation, evaluation, measuring, or administration related to any building, construction, demolition, or work, shall be brought against any person performing or furnishing land surveying services, as such term is defined in R.S. 37:682 , including but not limited to those services preparatory to construction, or against any person performing or furnishing the design, planning, supervision, inspection, or observation of construction or the construction of immovables, or improvement to immovable property, including but not limited to a residential building contractor as defined in R.S. 37:2150.1 :

(1)(a) More than five years after the date of registry in the mortgage office of acceptance of the work by owner.

(b) If no such acceptance is recorded within six months from the date the owner has occupied or taken possession of the improvement, in whole or in part, more than five years after the improvement has been thus occupied by the owner.

(c) If, within ninety days of the expiration of the five-year peremptive period described in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, a claim is brought against any person or entity included within the provisions of this Subsection, then such person or entity shall have ninety days from the date of service of the main demand or, in the case of a third-party defendant, within ninety days from service of process of the third party demand, to file a claim for contribution, indemnity or a third-party claim against any other party.

(2) If the person performing or furnishing the land surveying services, as such term is defined in R.S. 37:682 , does not render the services preparatory to construction, or if the person furnishing such services or the design and planning preparatory to construction does not perform any inspection of the work, more than five years after he has completed the surveying or the design and planning with regard to actions against that person.

B. (1) The causes which are perempted within the time described above include any action:

(a) For any deficiency in the performing or furnishing of land surveying services, as such term is defined in R.S. 37:682 , including but not limited to those preparatory to construction or in the design, planning, inspection, or observation of construction, or in the construction of any improvement to immovable property, including but not limited to any services provided by a residential building contractor as defined in R.S. 37:2150.1(9) .

(b) For damage to property, movable or immovable, arising out of any such deficiency.

(c) For injury to the person or for wrongful death arising out of any such deficiency.

(d) Brought against a person for the action or failure to act of his employees.

(2) Deficiency, as used in this Section, includes failure to warn the owner of any dangerous or hazardous condition, regardless of when knowledge of the danger or hazard is obtained or should have been obtained.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in Subsection A of this Section, this peremptive period shall extend to every demand, whether brought by direct action or for contribution or indemnity or by third-party practice, and whether brought by the owner or by any other person.

C. If such an injury to the property or to the person or if such a wrongful death occurs during the fifth year after the date set forth in Subsection A, an action to recover the damages thereby suffered may be brought within one year after the date of the injury, but in no event more than six years after the date set forth in Subsection A, even if the wrongful death results thereafter.

D. Actions for the causes enumerated in Sub-section B of this Section, against the persons enumerated in Sub-section A of this Section, shall prescribe by the applicable prescriptive periods established by law for such actions.

E. The peremptive period provided by this Section shall not be asserted by way of defense by a person in possession or control, as owner, lessor, tenant, or other possessory interest, of such an improvement at the time any deficiency in such an improvement constitutes the proximate cause of the injury, damage, or death sued upon with regard to any cause of action arising out of the alleged delict, quasi delict, or obligation of any such person arising out of his possession or control of the property.

F. Nothing in this Section shall be construed as modifying the liability or responsibility otherwise imposed by law on the owner of an immovable or the possessor, lessor or lessee of an immovable, by reason of the design, planning, supervision, inspection or observation of construction, or construction of improvements to immovable property.

G. Causes of action arising from the performing or furnishing of land surveying services, as such term is defined in R.S. 37:682 , if not performed preparatory to construction, which exist prior to September 11, 1981, shall be perempted one year from said date or by the applicable peremptive period established by this Section, whichever is later.

H. (1) The peremptive period provided by this Section shall not apply to an action to recover on a contract or to recover damages against any person enumerated in Subsection A of this Section, whose fraud has caused the breach of contract or damages sued upon.  The provisions of this Subsection shall be retroactive.

(2) In any action in which fraud is alleged, that issue shall be decided by trial separate from and prior to the trial of any or all other issues.  However, if fraud is alleged in nonresidential contracts in an action commenced after the expiration of the five-year period provided by this Section, and the court determines that the allegation was brought in bad faith and no fraud is found, then the party who made the allegation shall be liable for court costs and attorney fees.  If fraud is proven, then the party that has committed the fraud shall be liable for court costs and attorney fees.

(3) Fraud, as used in this Section, shall have the same meaning as provided in Civil Code Article 1953 .

I. Nothing in this Section shall be construed as limiting or modifying the non-liability of contractors for destruction or deterioration of, or defects in, any work, as provided in R.S. 9:2771 .





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