WA Supreme Court: State Statutes of Limitation Do Not Apply in Arbitration on Construction Defects

WA Supreme Court: State Statutes of Limitation Do Not Apply in Arbitration

The Washington Supreme Court handed down a surprising and perhaps monumental holding on Thursday. In Broom v. Morgan Stanley DW, Inc., No. 82311-1 (7/22/10), the Court ruled that Washington statutes of limitations are not applicable to arbitration proceedings. The ruling perhaps creates an opening for claimants who have arbitration clauses, but thought their claims had expired.
The theory behind the Court’s ruling is that the state’s statutes of limitation require “actions” or a “suit” to be filed in order to be effective, do not apply to arbitration proceedings, which are not “actions” or “suits” as defined by law. Absent contractual agreement to the contrary, the Court will not impose those statutes of limitation in an arbitration proceeding.

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