The 2019 General Assembly bill, supported by the Hirschler Construction Law Team, that would have created a five-year statute of limitations on public projects, hit a roadblock during the 2019 Session when the House Appropriations Committee requested that the Department of General Services (DGS) conduct a study of the bill over the summer and fall of this year. After considering the findings of a recent survey and series of town hall meetings, the DGS is expected to issue a report with its recommendations by December 31, 2019.
Hirschler Construction Law Team Provides Supporting Testimony During Bill Review Process
Currently, there is no statute of limitations applicable to state agencies on public jobs. A 2019 House bill would have created a five-year limitation period on public projects, the same limitation period applicable to private projects. In February, the bill was unanimously passed out of the Senate Finance Committee and on the Senate Floor. It then moved to the House of Delegates for consideration where the House Courts of Justice Committee passed the bill after hearing supporting testimony from our team. Ultimately, the bill stalled when the House Appropriations Committee requested that the Department of General Services (DGS) conduct a study of the bill over the summer and fall.
DGS Steps In with Online Survey and Town Halls Targeting Virginia Construction Industry
In August, DGS conducted an online survey of Virginia construction industry members and stakeholders regarding their experiences with the essentially unlimited limitations period that the Commonwealth enjoys on state jobs. Last month, DGS conducted a series of “town hall” meetings for stakeholders moderated by DGS Director Joe Damico. These meetings were well-attended by a cross-section of Virginia construction industry professionals, including numerous representatives of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) and our team.
Results of the DGS Survey Show Majority of Owner-Initiated Claims Made Within 5 Years
Interestingly, the DGS survey data suggested that the vast majority of owner-initiated claims on state jobs are already being brought within the “normal” five-year statutory period. Beginning in Year-7 after substantial completion, owner-claims start to decline, there are “some” owner claims between Year-7 and Year-9, and very few claims beginning in Year-10 and beyond. This suggests that a limitation period applicable to the Commonwealth of somewhere between five and ten years is empirically supportable and makes practical sense.
Hirschler Construction Law Team Reiterates Support of Common-Sense Statute of Limitations
At the October 3, 2019 DGS Town Hall, we spoke in support of the five-year limitation period that was contained in the 2019 House Bill. Representatives from AGC and other construction industry groups echoed our argument for a common-sense statute of limitations, which we believe will result in a more competitive and efficient public procurement process and will level the playing field for Virginia contractors.
The DGS team listened carefully to these arguments. Our perception as we left the meeting was that DGS may be open to considering and recommending a finite limitation period, although not necessarily the five-year limitation period that we support.
DGS’s report to the Governor and to the Chairs of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees is due December 31, 2019. Stay tuned for our analysis of that report.
Want more construction industry content delivered to your inbox? Never miss a post by subscribing here to receive updates.
As president of Hirschler and head of the firm's litigation section, Courtney knows how to lead people and projects to a successful outcome.
Leveraging deep experience in the construction industry, Courtney advises public and ...
Liz combines enthusiasm and diligence to help her clients resolve complex disputes. Whether the dispute is a construction claim, a breach of contract, or a business tort, Liz brings focus and determination to every case. Liz has ...
Kelly’s practice focuses on construction law, commercial and product liability law, with an emphasis on dispute resolution—including mediation, arbitration, jury and bench trials in state and federal court. She routinely ...
Nate fully engages in each case and shoulders his clients’ needs. Communication, efficiency and careful judgment define his practice. In every case, he investigates competing claims to thoroughly understand their strengths ...
A professional engineer (P.E.) and an experienced lawyer, Webb began practicing at Hirschler Fleischer following four years of work as a consulting engineer. His multidisciplinary practice focuses on general business and ...
SubscribeSubscribe to Hirschler by Email
- Kelly Bundy Appointed to the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board
- Jaime Wisegarver Outlines Labor Department Guidance on Travel Time Pay in Construction Executive
- New Defense to Joint Liability Available to Contractors
- What Employers Need to Know About Virginia’s New Overtime Wage Act
- OSHA Increases Amounts of Civil Penalties for 2021
- Have Force Majeure Defenses Based on COVID-19 Been Successful This Year?
- Kelly Bundy and Liz Burneson Publish Article on Joint Employer Status in Construction Executive
- Kelly Bundy Authors Article for ABA Construction Law Forum’s “Under Construction” Series
- Miller Act Notice More Than 90 Days Before A Subcontractor’s Final Day of Work Held Untimely
- Virginia Supreme Court Allows Sub-Sub Material Supplier To Recover Directly From General Contractor For Unpaid Material
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
- Department of Labor (DOL)
- COVID-19, Coronavirus Outbreak
- Dispute Resolution
- Little Miller Act
- Government Contracts
- Miller Act
- Workforce Development
- Mechanic's Liens
- Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR)
- Fair Labor Standards Act
- Lien Waivers
- Force Majeure
- Joint Checks
- Unjust Enrichment
- Virginia Employment Commission (VEC)
- Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission
- Uniform Statewide Building Code
- Change Orders
- August 2021
- June 2021
- April 2021
- January 2021
- October 2020
- August 2020
- July 2020
- June 2020
- May 2020
- April 2020
- March 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- November 2019
- August 2019
- June 2019
- April 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016