Walter Pierce

LPSB loses Moss appeal

by Walter Pierce

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal today released a judgment upholding a lower court ruling finding that the Lafayette Parish School Board cannot sue an architectural firm for water intrusion problems at N.P. Moss Middle School.

In 2008, the LPSB filed suit against architects Corne-Lemaire, the firm that designed Moss, as well as the Alexandria construction company that built the school. Late in 2007, water intrusion problems were discovered in the school, which was completed in 1999, precipitating the closure of the school for the spring 2008 semester. A state district judge in Lafayette ruled that the school board could not sue the architects or builders because a five-year window between accepting the completed job and filing suit had closed. The board appealed to the 3rd Circuit, which upheld the ruling:
We find no merit to the position advocated by the School Board. Applying well-established jurisprudence to an analysis of this case, we find the School Board did not acquire the right to sue Corne-Lemaire until it discovered damage to N.P. Moss Middle School in 2007. ... As more than five years passed after Corne-Lemaire’s work was accepted by the School Board, the suit brought in 2008 was untimely.
Read the full judgment at the 3rd Circuit’s Web site.