A new Limitation Act came into force in British
Columbia on June 1, 2013, which imposes a general two year
limitation period on most claims (with some exceptions) and also
introduced a two year limitation period for third party claims for
contribution and indemnity.
The new Limitation Act applies to any claims for which
the underlying act or omission occurred on or after June 1,
2013. Therefore, June 1, 2015 marks the first date on which
the limitation period will expire for a claim falling under the new
Personal injury lawyers are accustomed to a 2 year limitation
period, but most commercial claims prior to the new Limitation
Act coming into force enjoyed a 6 year limitation period so
particular caution should be paid to any possible commercial claims
arising since June 1, 2013.
The new Limitation Act also imposes a two year
limitation period for claims of contribution and indemnity, which
form the basis for most Third Party Notices. This applies to any
claims for contribution and indemnity where the underlying act or
omission occurred on or after June 1, 2013. For such claims, the
limitation period begins to run on the later of the date the
claimant is served with a pleading on which the claim for
contribution and indemnity will be based and the date the claimant
knew or reasonably ought to have know that a claim for contribution
and indemnity existed.
Contribution and indemnity claims for which the underlying act
or omission occurred prior to June 1, 2013 will continue to be
governed by the previous Limitation Act.
Lawyers and insurers should be particularly cautious of the new
two year limitation period for contribution and indemnity claims
and ensure their clients and insureds do not have any such claims
that need to be filed before June 1, 2015.
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