Plumber Saved By Statute Of Repose

A homeowner hired a plumber to install a new sewer pipeline to his property in 1996.  Many years passed until 2007 when a backup of raw sewage was allowed to seep into the home and damage the property.  The homeowner filed a lawsuit against the plumber for breach of contract and the negligent work performed installing the new sewage line. 

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the replacement of a sewer pipeline constitutes an "improvement to real property" within the meaning of the statute of repose found in 12 O.S. § 109.

The Supreme Court determined the Oklahoma legislature intended there to be a limit on how long lawsuits could be brought that was absolute.  As such, the defective installation of the sewer pipeline was no longer actionable.  Kirby v. Jean's Plumbing Heat & Air, 2009 OK 65.

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