In the case of McMillin Albany, LLC. et al. v. Van Tassel, et al., the California Supreme Court confirmed that SB 800 provides the exclusive remedy for construction defects in residential construction. The Court found that the legislature intended to abrogate common law claims for construction defects and supplant them with claims that are actionable under the SB 800 statutory framework and require all such claims to proceed through the SB 800 pre-litigation process.
As a result of this ruling, it is critically important that California community associations remain vigilant in evaluating their buildings for construction defects (as defined in the SB 800 statutes) to ensure that their claims are timely pursued and not barred by SB 800’s shorter statute of limitations periods for certain components (i.e., 4 years from close of escrow for plumbing issues that materially impair the use of the structure by its inhabitants).
This also means that legal counsel should be contacted soon after completion of construction to make sure the statute of limitations is protected and claims are properly and efficiently pursued through the complex procedural process mandated by SB 800 (or alternative process provided by the developer and set forth in the association’s CC&Rs).