Can a Contractor and manufacturer of equipment avoid liability by
shortening the time frame within which the Owner may bring claims
Answer. Yes but with a caveat. Consumer and Homeowner protection statutes may modify the general rule so be sure to go over your particular circumstances with counsel.
The Contract was signed in September, 2006. The Contract was pre-printed and four pages long. On the first page of the contract appear the following notice:
There is no dispute that Owner executed a contract with Contractor for the purchase of equipment. The parties also do not dispute that the contract identified Contractor as an “Authorized Dealer,” of the equipment and stated that the contract would be submitted to manufacturer “for approval and purchase of the system.” The parties further agree that the Contract provided that manufacturer would notify Owner only if it rejected the contract or otherwise did not purchase it from Contractor.
YOU ADMIT THAT YOU HAVE READ THIS PAGE IN ADDITION TO THE ATTACHMENT WHICH CONTAINS IMPORTANT TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR THIS CONTRACT BEFORE SIGNING. YOU STATE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND ALL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS CONTRACT, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PARAGRAPHS 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, AND 10....
Paragraph 10 appears on the second page of the contract, and provides:
10. TIME TO FILE LAWSUIT OR OTHER ACTION. YOU AGREE TO FILE ANY LAWSUIT OR OTHER ACTION YOU MAY HAVE AGAINST U.S. OR OUR ASSIGNEES, AGENTS, EMPLOYEES, SUBSIDIARIES, AFFILIATES OR PARENT COMPANIES WITHIN ONE (1) YEAR FROM THE DATE OF THE EVENT THAT CAUSED THE LOSS, DAMAGE OR LIABILITY.