On Tuesday, Gov. Steve Beshear ceremoniously signed into law Kentucky Chamber-initiated House Bill 369, which lowered the statute of limitations for written contracts from 15 to 10 years. Prior to the passage of HB 369, Kentucky had the highest statute of limitations on written contracts in the nation by five years. Kentucky’s excessively lengthy statute of limitations for written contracts has had a negative impact on businesses defending against class actions, unnecessarily increasing exposure by expanding alleged classes to 15 years prior to the filing of a class action and allowing some plaintiffs to pressure defendants into settlements regardless of the merits simply because of the significant exposure.
Over time, documents are lost and destroyed, individuals involved with drafting contracts leave their employment or are otherwise unavailable, making the defense of actions extremely difficult and costly.
HB 369 will also help businesses save money on document retention in the future and make Kentucky more competitive in attracting new businesses and retaining existing businesses in the state.