Proposed Bill Affects Breach of Contract and Legal Malpractice Claims
February 3, 2021
- Ohio SB 13 has meaningful legal ramifications for breach of contract and legal malpractice claims.
- The bill aims to shorten the statute of limitations for breach of contract claims to 6 years for written contracts and 4 years for non-written contracts.
- The bill would also create a statute of repose for legal malpractice claims, limiting commencement of these claims to 4 years.
The statute of limitations for breach of contract claims in Ohio could be shortened once again. Ohio State Senator George Lang introduced SB 13, which aims to amend R.C. 2305.06 to shorten the statute of limitations for breach of a written contract claim from eight years to six years. The General Assembly last amended R.C. 2305.06 in 2012 by shortening the statute of limitations from fifteen years to eight years.
SB 13 also aims to amend R.C. 2305.07 in order to shorten the statute of limitations period for breach of non-written contracts from six years to four years. The bill would also create a six-year statute of limitations for consumer transactions “incurred primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.”
Lastly, the bill proposes a new section to the Revised Code (R.C. 2305.117), which would create a statute of repose for legal malpractice claims. In part, the proposed section states:
No action upon a legal malpractice claim against an attorney or a law firm or a legal professional association shall be commenced more than four years after the occurrence of the act or omission constituting the alleged basis of the legal malpractice claim.
If an action upon a legal malpractice claim against an attorney or a law firm or legal professional association is not commenced within four years after the occurrence of the act or omission constituting the alleged basis of the claim, then, any action upon that claim is barred.
The one-year statute of limitations for legal malpractice is unaffected. The proposed R.C. 2305.117 is similar to the ten-year statute of repose for premises liability actions in R.C. 2305.131 in that both bar certain claims after a certain period, regardless of when the claim accrued.
SB 13 passed the Senate 32-0 and will go to the House for consideration. We will track SB 13 as it moves through the legislative process and provide relevant updates.