Limitations Period of Filing of CSPA Claim In Case of a Continuing Transaction
Should There Be Some Violative Conduct by Defendant Within the Limitations Period of Filing of CSPA Claim In Case of a Continuing Transaction ?
In Luft v. Perry Cty. Lumber & Supply Co., Franklin App. No. 02AP-559, 2003 Ohio 2305, the plaintiff ("Luft") had a barn, walkway, and garage constructed on his property in February 1989 and, within a few months, noticed discoloration in a small area of the barn.
In June 1989, representatives from the construction company, the company that pre-stained the wood used in the construction, and the paint supplier assured Luft that the problem would be taken care of by painting over the pre-stained wood with Olympic latex paint, which was guaranteed for 15 years.
In July 1989, Luft accordingly hired painters to repaint the structures using Olympic latex paint supplied by the original paint supplier.
Around Labor Day 1992, Luft noticed a problem with the Olympic paint applied in July 1989.
When Luft called his construction company to complain, the construction company did not return his call.
However, Luft did complain to PPG, the manufacturer of Olympic paint, and had discussions and meetings with PPG representatives as late as May 1998.
On April 29, 1999, Luft brought suit against PPG, the construction company, the company that pre-stained the wood, the paint supplier, and the painters, alleging, among other claims, violations of the CSPA. the trial court entered summary judgment in favor of all defendants other than PPG on Luft's CSPA claims. on Luft's CSPA claim against PPG, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Luft.
Luft appealed the trial court's conclusion that the statute of limitations barred his CSPA claims against the non-PPG defendants, contending, in reliance on Roelle, that the actions of the non-PPG defendants were part of a continuing transaction.
While not expressly rejecting Roelle, we held that, "even if each CSPA violation was merely a part of a continuing transaction, Luft's CSPA claims against [the non-PPG defendants] were still barred by the statute of limitations." Luft at P76.
Luft's claims against the company that pre-stained the wood were time-barred because Luft admitted that the last time that company made any representation that it would fix the paint job was in 1989, over 12 years before Luft filed his complaint.
The Court stated "a claim under the CSPA should have been brought against [the pre-stain company] by July 1991[,]" two years after the company's last representation that it would remedy the paint job. Id. at P77. Similarly, with respect to Luft's CSPA claims against the paint supplier and the construction company and its owners, the Court stated "there is simply no action or contact between [those defendants] and Luft within two years of the filing of the complaint that could form the basis of a CSPA claim." Id. at P80.
The last contact between Luft and the paint supplier occurred in the summer of 1989, and the last contact between Luft and the construction company or its owners occurred in 1993.
Accordingly, the Court affirmed the trial court's entry of summary judgment in favor of the non-PPG defendants. Thus, Luft suggests that, even in the case of a continuing transaction, there must be some violative conduct by the defendant within the two-year period prior to a plaintiff's filing of a CSPA claim.
In Luft, this court recognized the need for conduct by the defendant within the limitations period.
There, we stated that, even if the CSPA violations of the non-PPG defendants were part of a continuing transaction, the statute of limitations barred Luft's claims against the non-PPG defendants because the violations occurred more than two years prior to Luft filing his complaint.
The Court equated the occurrence of the violation with the specific act or representation of each defendant, despite Luft's contention that the actions of the non-PPG defendants were part of a continuing transaction, on which the statute of limitations did not begin to run until the final transaction was complete.
For example, with respect to the pre-staining company, the Court looked to the date of the company's last representation that it would fix the paint job and not to the date the company failed to comply with that representation.