Discovery Rule does not Apply in Contract Cases when it is a Three and Five Year Statute
Video Transcribed: Tulsa Attorney, Brian Carter at tulsaconstructionlawyer.com. In this video I’m going to talk a little bit about what the discovery rule is here in Oklahoma. This is a follow-up video to my video on the difference between the statute of limitations and statute of repose, so some of this material will be similar, but the discovery rule is important. So I wanted to spend a little more time kind of going through the implications of the discovery rule.
In Oklahoma, actions based in tort, and for our purposes we’ll stick with negligence, there’s a two year statute of limitations. Now that period doesn’t begin to run until the negligent act is discovered or when it should have been discovered through reasonable care diligence.
With respect to the statute of repose in Oklahoma, it’s a 10 year statute, so any negligent act discovered outside that 10 year period would not be actionable. However, within that 10 year period, the statute of limitations will come into play where an injured party would have two years to take action.
It’s important to note that the discovery rule does not apply in contract cases where there is a three and five year statute, whether the contract is oral or written respectively. And the reason for this is because parties to a contract would be left in a state of uncertainty regarding liability.
Extensions of liability, thus potentially extending indefinitely and completely swallowing any warranty provisions, and then that’s the rationale behind why the discovery rule doesn’t apply to contracts. The contract, again, that statute begins to run upon completion of the contract or some other provision in the contract. So again, it’s important to have your dates of substantial completion defined.