Canadian Consulting Engineer

Engineers in B.C. need only worry for 15 years

On June 1, British Columbia's new Limitation Act came into effect, changing the time limits for filing civil lawsuits. For engineers the change provides more clarity about how long they have to worry about being held liable for problems...

June 4, 2013   Canadian Consulting Engineer

On June 1, British Columbia’s new Limitation Act came into effect, changing the time limits for filing civil lawsuits. For engineers the change provides more clarity about how long they have to worry about being held liable for problems occurring with a design they completed in the past.

The new Act provides a single two-year “basic limitation period” for civil claims that involve personal injury or defamation. The clock starts to tick as soon as the plaintiffs “discover they have a legal claim.”

For claims that are not discovered right away, the “ultimate limitation period” is now 15 years. In other words, plaintiffs have 15 years to start a claim, timed from the date the “act or omission” occurred.

Previously the province had a variety of different basic limitation periods which led to confusion and lengthy trials. The longest was 30 years.

B.C. is now in line with most other provinces.

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