The Fourth Department determined the architectural malpractice action accrued when the construction was complete, despite the fact that plaintiff was not a party to the contract with the architects. Therefore the action was time-barred. The court noted that Supreme Court should have settled the record on appeal by including the transcript of the motion to dismiss the complaint as well as the accompanying memorandum of law to demonstrate preservation of the issues for appeal:
Before breaking ground on the project, plaintiff entered into an agreement with an engineering firm, pursuant to which the engineering firm agreed to provide professional engineering services on the project. The engineering firm, in turn, entered into a contract with defendant, pursuant to which defendant agreed to provide professional architectural services on the project. * * *
A claim against an architect accrues upon the completion of performance … . “This rule applies ‘no matter how a claim is characterized in the complaint’ because ‘all liability’ for defective construction ‘has its genesis in the contractual relationship of the parties’ ” … . “Even if the plaintiff is not a party to the underlying construction contract, the claim may accrue upon completion of the construction where the plaintiff is not a ‘stranger to the contract,’ and the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant is the ‘functional equivalent of privity’ ” … .
Despite the lack of privity between plaintiff and defendant, plaintiff was “not a stranger to the contract” … . Indeed, we conclude that plaintiff was an intended third-party beneficiary of the contract … . * * *
Because plaintiff “is not a ‘stranger to the contract,’ ” its professional malpractice cause of action accrued upon completion of performance by defendant … . Town of W. Seneca v Kideney Architects, P.C., 2020 NY Slip Op 05323, Fourth Dept 10-2-20