latent damage

latent damage

damage that is not immediately obvious. It causes problems in relation to time bar. Time bar seeks to cut off stale claims. However, with latent damage the plaintiff does not know to claim. Accordingly legal systems often take account of this in their detailed rules. It maybe that time will run from the date when the action accrued or alternatively some often shorter date from the time when the plaintiff knew or ought to have known about the damage (perhaps the day when smoke stopped coming out of the chimney or parts of the chimney began to fall into the garden), whichever is the later. Even then there maybe a long stop to prevent very stale claims coming to court.
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