(a) No action in contract, whether oral or written, sealed or unsealed, to recover damages caused by any deficiency in the design, planning, supervision, or observation of construction or the construction and repair of any improvement to real property or for injury to real or personal property caused by such deficiency, shall be brought against any person performing or furnishing the design, planning, supervision, or observation of construction or the construction or repair of the improvement more than five (5) years after substantial completion of the improvement.
(b)(1) No action in tort or contract, whether oral or written, sealed or unsealed, to recover damages for personal injury or wrongful death caused by any deficiency in the design, planning, supervision, or observation of construction or the construction and repairing of any improvement to real property shall be brought against any person performing or furnishing the design, planning, supervision, or observation of construction or the construction and repair of the improvement more than four (4) years after substantial completion of the improvement.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (b)(1) of this section, in the case of personal injury or an injury causing wrongful death, which injury occurred during the third year after the substantial completion, an action in tort or contract to recover damages for the injury or wrongful death may be brought within one (1) year after the date on which injury occurred, irrespective of the date of death, but in no event shall such an action be brought more than five (5) years after the substantial completion of construction of such improvement.
(c) The foregoing limitations shall also apply to any action for damages caused by any deficiency in surveying, establishing, or making the boundaries of real property, the preparation of maps, or the performance of any other engineering or architectural work upon real property or improvements to real property.
(d) The limitations prescribed by this section shall not apply in the event of fraudulent concealment of the deficiency, nor shall the limitation be asserted by way of defense by any person in actual possession or control, as owner, tenant, or otherwise, of such an improvement at the time any deficiency in the improvement constitutes the proximate cause of the injury or death.
(e) If a person furnishes designs or plans which are not used within three (3) years from the date they are furnished, no action shall lie against that person for deficiency in the designs or plans.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed as extending the period prescribed by the laws of this state for the bringing of any cause of action, nor shall the parties to any contract for construction extend the above prescribed limitations by agreement or otherwise.
(g) As used in this section, the term “person” shall mean an individual, corporation, trust, partnership, unincorporated organization, limited liability company, or any other business association or entity.
(h)(1) It is the intent of the General Assembly and the purpose of this subsection to reinstate and to codify the accepted-work doctrine for publicly owned improvements to public property, which was repudiated by the Arkansas Supreme Court in Suneson v. Holloway Construction Co., 337 Ark. 571 (1999) .
(2)(A) A contractor who performs the construction or repair of any publicly owned improvement to public real property in substantial compliance with the designs or plans, after a practical acceptance of the completion of the improvement by the person representing the government entity in actual possession or control thereof as proprietor, owner, tenant, or otherwise, shall incur no further liability to third parties by reason of the condition of the work unless contracted otherwise by the parties.
(B) The contractor may be liable for an improvement that is a nuisance per se, or that contains a defect that could not reasonably be detected on inspection by the proprietor, or that was turned over by the contractor in a manner so negligently defective as to be eminently dangerous to third persons.
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