Revised Limitation Act being proposed in B.C.
October 25, 2010
By Canadian Consulting Engineer
The board of directors of Consulting Engineers of B.C. has drafted a response to a government white paper ...
The board of directors of Consulting Engineers of B.C. has drafted a response to a government white paper on reforming the province’s Limitation Act. The Limitation Act governs how long a person has to bring a civil action against someone, such as an engineer.
Published in September, the white paper from the Ministry of Attorney General aims to simplify the rules and make them fairer.
The Ministry is recommending moving from a general 30-year Ultimate Limitation period to either a 10 -or 15 -year Ultimate Limitation period. The clock would start running based on an “act of omission” rather than the current complex “accrual” system.
Besides the Ultimate Limitation period, there is the “Basic Limitation period.” It normally applies unless special circumstances warrant stopping the clock. The white paper recommends moving from a basic limitation period based on the type of legal action involved to a single two-year basic limitation period for all civil claims.
The government is also proposing eliminating the special six-year ultimate limitation period for negligence claims against those in the medical professionals.
The proposed changes would bring the B.C. Limitation Act into line with similar reforms in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick.
The two-year limitation period for starting a lawsuit for a personal injury action will remain untouched. Also, the reforms would not be applied retroactively.
CEBC’s Board has raised several issues, “where we believe greater certainty and simplification of the Act can be achieved, with little or no adverse effects on potential plaintiffs.”