Applicant Fails to Take Reasonable Steps to Determined Information - Limitation Period Expired - Ms. Pashkiewich v. City of Toronto

January 05, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Ms. Pashkiewich v. City of Toronto, 2017 ONSC 6921 (CanLII)

Decision Date: November 20, 2017
Heard Before: Master Jolley

ADDING DEFENDANT: limitation period; applicant fails to take reasonable steps to determine facts; applicant’s motion to add defendant denied

Ms. Pashkiewich brings this motion to add Pave-Tar Construction Ltd. as a defendant to this action after the expiry of the putative limitation period.  Pave-Tar opposes the relief sought. Ms. Pashkiewich relies on section 5(1)(b) of the Limitations Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c.24, Schedule B to argue that the limitation period did not begin to run until 8 September 2017, the date the City of Toronto advised her lawyer that the City had a winter maintenance contract with Pave-Tar.  She argues that she did not discover the existence of Pave-Tar or its potential role until that date and could not have discovered the identity of Pave-Tar with reasonable diligence before that date.

Ms. Pashkiewich did not swear an affidavit so little is known of her “abilities and circumstances”.  What we do know in terms of the evidentiary record is that Ms. Pashkiewich slipped and fell on a sidewalk owned and occupied by the City of Toronto on 6 February 2014.  Ms. Pashkiewich believes she fell because of a failure to clear the sidewalk and road of accumulated ice and snow and that the sidewalk and road were not salted or sanded. 

We do not know if Ms. Pashkiewich exercised reasonable diligence in ascertaining her right to seek damages from Pave-Tar.  The record discloses that her lawyers wrote a letter to the City of Toronto in December 2014 putting it on notice of her claim.  The letter does not inquire about whether was a winter maintenance company.

Master Jolley reviewed the Limitations Act, the Law and the evidence and determined that a letter to the City inquiring about a winter maintenance contract should be considered a reasonable step.  Ms. Pashkiewich has the onus of satisfying the court that her claim was not reasonably discovered on the date of the incident.  It is uncontested that the bar is a low one. 

Unfortunately, Ms. Pashkiewich here has not met even that low bar.  She has led no evidence at all to explain why she did not or could not discover the claim against Pave-Tar within two years of her February 2014 slip and fall.  

As noted by Emery, J. in Fontanilla Estate v. Thermo Cool Mechanical 2016 ONSC 7023 (CanLII) at paragraph 40:

 Although due diligence on the part of a person in Ms. Pashkiewich’s circumstances to determine the elements of a claim is but one factor in the evaluation of when a limitation period begins, it is an important factor.  Where from outward appearances a limitation period has expired, or where discoverability under s. 5(1) of the Act is raised, the court is put on inquiry to determine whether a party has acted with reasonable diligence to learn the identity and role of a prospective defendant to extend the start and end date of a limitation period.  However, the court requires evidence of the steps taken to meet the obligation to act with reasonable diligence.

It appears from the record that Ms. Pashkiewich took no steps to determine if where was a winter maintenance contractor despite every indication that Ms. Pashkiewich fell on a city sidewalk that was, allegedly, covered with ice and snow.  As a result, Ms. Pashkiewich’s motion to add Pave-Tar as a defendant is dismissed with costs payable by Ms. Pashkiewich to Pave-Tar in the amount of $2,000 forthwith.



Posted under Accident Benefit News, Slip and Fall Injury

View All Posts

About Deutschmann Law

Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.

Practice Areas

  1. Car accidents
  2. Motorcycle accidents
  3. Automobile accident benefits
  4. Catastrophic injury
  5. Brain or Head injury
  6. Paraplegia and Quadriplegia
  7. Spinal cord injury
  8. Drunk driving accidents
  9. Concussion syndrome
  10. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  11. Slip and Fall Accidents
  12. Birth Trauma Injury
  1. Wrongful death
  2. Bicycle accidents
  3. Disability insurance claims
  4. Slip and fall injury
  5. Fractures or broken bone injury
  6. Pedestrian accidents
  7. Chronic pain
  8. Truck accidents
  9. Amputation and disfigurement
  10. Fibromyalgia
  11. Nursing Home Fatality Claims

Personal Injury Blog

Sep 22, 2020
Backup Driver of UBER's Autonomous Car Charged in Arizona Death
Sep 17, 2020
What Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Do for You?
Sep 15, 2020
Old Grey Mayors - A podcast featuring the political movers and shakers in the Region of Waterloo
Sep 10, 2020
Slips and Falls Remain Serious Risks in Long-Term Care Homes
Sep 08, 2020
Do I need to hire a personal injury lawyer?
Sep 03, 2020
The Six Things You Need to Do After A Car Accident

More Personal Injury Articles » 
Review our services

Connect with us

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Youtube Google