Shell v. Schollander Companies, Inc.Annotate this Case
Defendant was a general contractor that builds “spec” houses (houses built without pre-existing construction contracts in anticipation of eventual sale to the public). On May 30, 2000, defendant and plaintiff entered into a purchase and sale agreement for a house. Although most of the construction had been completed, the agreement specified that defendant would make changes to the interior of the house. Specifically, defendant agreed to upgrade some of the flooring, install an air conditioning unit, and install a gas dryer in the laundry room. After defendant made those changes and the parties conducted a walk-through inspection, the sale closed on July 12, 2000. The primary question in this construction defect case was which of two statutes of repose applied when a buyer enters into a purchase and sale agreement to buy an existing home. Although each statute provided for a 10-year period of repose, the two periods of repose ran from different dates. One runs from “the date of the act or omission complained of;” the other ran from the date that construction is “substantial[ly] complet[e].” In this case, the trial court found that plaintiff filed her action more than 10 years after “the date of the act or omission complained of” but less than 10 years after the construction was “substantial[ly] complet[e].” The trial court ruled that the first statute, ORS 12.115(1), applied and accordingly entered judgment in defendant’s favor. The Court of Appeals affirmed. After review of the parties' arguments on appeal, the Supreme Court found no reversible error in the Court of Appeals' decision and affirmed.