From Foundations to Finish? The Continuing Duty Doctrine and Limitations

New Zealand Law Review, pp. 505-520, 2013

16 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2015 Last revised: 26 Mar 2019

Date Written: October 1, 2013

Abstract

In Johnson v Watson [2003] 1 NZLR 626 the Court of Appeal commented that builders may owe a continuing duty over the course of the construction period to remedy defects. By and large, the courts have been cautious to embrace this “continuing duty” theory and have shown a reluctance to define its parameters. Since Johnson v Watson, a line of cases have held that a continuing duty on designers and contractors is “tenable” and “arguable” and therefore not a field ripe for strike-out. Yet there has been little analysis of what it means to owe a “continuing duty”, when the concept arises, and the consequences for statutory limitation periods. This article traverses the discussion to date to elicit the common principles of the theory.

Keywords: duty of care, limitation, continuing duty, longstop, construction

Suggested Citation

Beswick, Samuel, From Foundations to Finish? The Continuing Duty Doctrine and Limitations (October 1, 2013). New Zealand Law Review, pp. 505-520, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2576775

Samuel Beswick (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://scholar.harvard.edu/beswick

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