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  • Sea to Sky Law

How long should I wait to file a claim

Most people know there is now a 2 year time limitation to filing a Claim - the question is when does the time start?

The balance is between the need to provide a practical time limit on the right to sue and when this limitation time clock starts so the Claimant has a fair chance to realize a cause of action exists before the right to sue is lost. Above is a photo from the SCC archives of our highest court - the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) - which issued a decision on 29 July 2021 about when the limitation clock starts, which is important because the time limit is now only two years for most claims. The SCC decision, Grant Thornton LLP v New Brunwick, 2021 SCC 31, confirms the common law rule of discoverability, which was codified by that Province's legislation, overruled the Court of Appeal and upheld the trial judgment dismissing the claim by the Province of New Brunswick.

In this case, the Province received a Draft Report indicating that there was negligence by the Defendant but waited to file its Claim for $50 Million until after it received the Final Report. The filing date of the Claim was more than two years after the Draft Report was received. The lesson to remember is to file your lawsuit ASAP even if you only have some but not all evidence that the Defendant caused the loss. You may lack the ideal amount of documents and witnesses to prove the Defendant liable for the loss but you risk losing the right to sue if you wait.

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