Bill Circumventing Statute of Repose Passes Senate

A bill that would undermine the state’s statute of repose for designers and builders of residences passed the State Senate late yesterday on a 30-19 vote. SB 5550, sponsored by Senator Brian Weinstein (D-41, Mercer Island), creates a new “warranty” requirement for residences. The warranty would be up to 10 years for certain aspects of a residence – nearly doubling the current 6 year statute of repose. The bill does not directly alter the statute of repose, rather it creates new legal rights to sue builders and designers beyond the current 6 year limit. While AIA/WA and its allies were successful in getting the bill narrowed before it came to a vote in the Senate, we remain very concerned about the negative impact the bill would have on housing prices and the availability of professional liability insurance for those that design and build houses.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives where it will be referred to the House Judiciary Committee. A companion bill, HB 1935, sponsored by Representative Brendan Williams (D-22, Olympia) remains pending on the House Second Reading Calendar.