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Statute of Limitations on Breach of Contract in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2024 | Commercial Litigation

When dealing with contracts in Pennsylvania, individuals and businesses should be aware of the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations sets a time limit for parties to bring legal action for breach of contract.

Time limit for filing a lawsuit

In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for breach of a written contract is generally four years. This means that if someone breaches a contract, the injured party has up to four years from the date of the breach to file a lawsuit seeking damages.

For oral contracts, the statute of limitations is shorter, typically two years. The clock starts from the date of the breach, not from the formation or signing date of the contract.

Exceptions to the rule

There are some exceptions to these general time limits. For instance, if the contract involves the sale of goods, the statute of limitations may be subject to the Uniform Commercial Code, which sets a four-year limit for breach of contract actions.

Additionally, if the breach involves fraud or mistakes, individuals may receive an extension on the statute of limitations. In such cases, the clock starts ticking from the date the injured party discovers the fraud or mistake. It may also start when the breach should have been discovered as a result of reasonable diligence.

The importance of timeliness

Failing to file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations can have serious consequences. If the deadline passes, the party who suffered the breach may lose the right to seek legal remedies altogether. A judge can immediately dismiss the case and prevent further action on the matter.

Those who believe another party violated their contract rights should be proactive and act swiftly. By being aware of the time constraints and acting quickly, individuals can ensure the preservation of their legal rights.