A few weeks ago I wrote about an opinion issued by the Fort Worth Court of Appeals, wherein that court held that Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 33.004(e) applied to a statute of repose to revive the claims against a responsible third party. Click here for that discussion. I questioned whether Section 33.004(e)’s reference to statutes of limitation should be construed to include statutes of repose. Last Friday, the Texas Supreme Court confirmed that Section 33.004(e) does not apply to statutes of repose.
In Galbraith Engineering Consultants, Inc. v. Pochucha, Sam and Jean Pochucha bought a house in April 2003, that had been built 8 years earlier by builder Bill Cox. After the house showed water damage following moderate to heavy rainfall, the Pochuchas sued Cox. Cox in turn filed a motion for leave to designate Galbraith Engineering Consultants as a responsible third party. The Ponchuchas joined Galbraith as a defendant within sixty days pursuant to Chapter 33. Galbraith moved for summary judgment and asserted the applicable statute of repose because the Ponchuchas joined it as a defendant more than ten years after completion of the house. The trial court granted the motion for summary judgment, but the San Antonio Court of Appeals reversed holding that Section 33.004(e) applies to both statutes of limitation and repose.
The Texas Supreme Court reversed the and affirmed the summary judgment. Construing Section 33.004(e), the court held that the term "limitations" should be construed narrowly to include only statutes of limitation rather than both statutes of limitation and statutes of repose. The supreme court’s opinion may be found at this link.