The "Completion and Acceptance" Doctrine in Washington
It's rare for a construction case to reach the Supreme Court, and rarer still when the issue presented is the infrequently explored "completion and acceptance" doctrine.
On November 9, 2005, the Supreme Court will hear argument on the validity of "completion and acceptance" doctrine, which generally provides that a contractor’s liability to third parties is extinguished when the contractor’s work is complete and accepted by the owner. The case is
Davis v. Baugh Indus. Contractors, Inc.
The trial court awarded summary judgment to the contractor defendants in this case on the basis of this doctrine. The Supreme Court will decide whether that was the right thing to do. Based on a quick check, it appears the last time the Supreme Court addressed this doctrine was . . .1960. While this doctrine is currently recognized in Washington (Tennyson v Plum Creek Timber Co. L.P., 73 Wn.App 550, 558, 872 P.2d 524 (1994), it is subject to certain exceptions. WCL doesn't know if the Baugh case turns on the exceptions to the rule or the validity of the rule itself. Stay tuned.