On April 2, 2012, the Court of Federal Claims issued a key decision that protects contractors from facing tardy claims asserted by the government, and reinforces the power of the Contract Disputes Act’s (“CDA”) six-year statute of limitations period. In Raytheon Company v. United States, COFC No. 09-306C (Apr. 2, 2012), the Court of Federal Claims held that the government’s $25 million claim against the contractor was time-barred under the CDA’s six-year statute of limitations because the government knew or should have known that its claim accrued nine years prior to asserting it. Although the contractor benefitted from the CDA’s statute of limitations in this instance, courts will not hesitate to apply these same principles against contractors. The lesson learned from this decision is simple: a contractor has six years to assert its claim against the government from the time it knew or should have known that the claim accrued. (The same holds true for the government, although there is an exception for claims by the government against a contractor involving fraud.) In addition, it is important to remember that a claim may accrue before monetary damages have been incurred. Understanding the CDA’s statute of limitations period is crucial to any contractor’s claims or defenses against the government.