All Running Limitation Periods are Extended 183 Days Due to COVID-19 but That Doesn't Help This Claimant - McAuley v. Canada Post Corporation, 2021 ONSC 4528

July 20, 2021, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

McAuley v. Canada Post Corporation, 2021 ONSC 4528

HEARD BEFORE: Justice C. Boswell
DATE OF DECISION: June 25, 2021

LIMITATION PERIOD: Rules of Civil Procedure 1990; Limitations Act, 2002; Ontario Regulation 73/20


 

Background

In this case two issues are to note. The one is the claimants tardiness in notifying his lawyer of information in his possession regarding parties at fault. The second deals with the extension of all limitation periods by 183 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facts

Mr. McAuley, 52, slipped and fell on an icy sidewalk in front of the post office in Huntsville Ontario. He broke his ankle and sued Canada Post Corporation.

Following discovery Mr. McAuley moved to leave to amend his statement of claim to include the third and fourth party defendants. One of the third parties and one of the fourth parties opposed the motion. They claim that the plaintiff’s claims against them are statute barred pursuant to the Limitations Act, 2002.

Justice Boswell reviewed the law and the evidence. He noted that the Limitations Act sets out a two-year period for making claim but that the presumption is rebuttable if he/she discovers the claim on a date sometime after the loss. They must,however demonstrate that the claim could not have been discovered on an earlier date.

In this case, Justice Boswell found that the plaintiff was aware within approximately two weeks of the fall that the third and fourth parties were potentially implicated in the case. He noted a reasonable person would have advised his lawyer of the information well sooner than the seven months it took him to.

Justice Boswell also stated that held the suspension of limitation periods pursuant to the Limitations Act  pursuant to the Ontario Governments’ regulation 73/20

“The effect of Reg. 73/20 was to extend any running limitation period by 183 days. In other words, all limitation periods subject to the regulation were extended by roughly six months… It appears clear to me that any limitation period that otherwise would have run between March 16, 2020 and September 14, 2020 was suspended during that period. Those days do not get counted in the calculation of the limitation period.” (paras 42-43)”
 

 

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