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How much time do you have to file a construction defect action?


People work hard to afford their homes and businesses. Real property is often the most valuable asset that Minnesota residents own. Therefore, when defective construction materials are used in the construction of a person's home that person can feel cheated. People may feel like their years of hard work were for nothing. Beyond the emotional strain that defective buildings can cause, they can cause significant damage.

Depending on the construction defect, people can suffer both serious damage to their property and a sever personal injury. For example, asbestos can cause mesothelioma. Defective construction materials can cause window leaks, water intrusion and mold or other destructive conditions that ruin personal belongings. Following this damage, medical treatment or extensive repairs may be necessary. These unexpected costs can place a burden on a Minnesota family.

In some situations, a lawsuit can help people recover these costs. Under products liability laws, companies can be held responsible for defective construction materials and other construction defects. While people are focused on dealing with the immediate aftermath of the defects, they should also consider if a lawsuit is right for them.

Under Minnesota statute section 541.051, people only have two years to file a lawsuit for personal injury, death or property damage arising from defective improvements to real property. Additionally, a lawsuit cannot be brought more than 10 years after the construction project was substantially completed. While this blog cannot provide specific legal advice, this can in some situations mean that people need to act quickly to preserve their legal rights. If they wait until after these deadlines have passed, they can be barred from receiving any compensation.

If a Minnesota resident has been injured by defective construction materials, that person should speak with an attorney to fully understand these rules and others so that person can exercise his or her full legal rights.

Source: 2013 Minnesota Statutes, "541.051 LIMITATION OF ACTION FOR DAMAGES BASED ON SERVICES OR CONSTRUCTION TO IMPROVE REAL PROPERTY," accessed Aug. 11, 2014

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