Legal Memorandum: Limitation Period in a Contract Action in VA

Issue: Whether the limitation period in a contract cause of action under Virginia law begins to run when the damage is discovered.

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Contract cause of action; Limitations period; Damages
Jurisdiction: Virginia
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-230
Date: 06/01/2012

The party asserting the statute of limitations has the burden of proof on this affirmative defense.  Lo v. Burke 455 S.E.2d 9, 12 (Va. 1995).

On a contract cause of action, the limitations period begins to run “when the breach of contract occurs . . . and not when the resulting damage is discovered.”  Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-230; see Van Dam v. Gay, 699 S.E.2d 480, 482 (Va. 2010).  While [the Testator] lives, no beneficiary has anything more than a bare expectancy and no person has suffered any injury or damage as a result of his tentative dispositions.”  Van Dam, 699 S.E.2d at 462.


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