The Government of BC intends on overhauling the BC Limitation Act. As Ian Mulgrew of the Vancouver Sun points out, this proposed law reform is something that matters to everyone, not just personal injury lawyers and claimants.
The Government has released a White Paper discussing the proposed changes at length. The proposed New Limitation Act can be found at Appendix A of the White Paper. On review it is clear that the proposed changes are not concrete and the Government is seeking feedback before bringing the law into force.
Members of the public can contact the Government with any concerns or suggestions no later than November 15, 2010, at:
Civil Policy and Legislation Office
Justice Services Branch
Ministry of Attorney General
PO Box 9222 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 9J1
Fax: 250 387-4525
One of the goals of the reformed act is to “simplify” the law. On review there is nothing simple about the proposed new law and it seems every bit as complex as the current Limitation Act. There are some proposed changes that are noteworthy including:
Replacing varying basic limitation periods with a standard 2 year period
Reducing the Ultimate Limitation Period from 30 years to 10 or 15 years
Redefining “Discoverability” of a potential lawsuit
Abolishing the special ultimate limitation period for medical malpractice claims
Continuing to waive limitation periods for civil lawsuits for damages as a result of sexual assault
There are other proposed changes as well and I suggest that anyone interested in this topic review the proposed new law in full. If you have concerns about how these reforms may affect your rights or have suggestions for improved changes please be sure to contact the Government prior to the November 15 deadline.