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Ontario Emergency Act and the effect on limitation periods in civil court cases

What the emergency act means for your personal injury file

On March 17, 2020 the Ontario Government declared an emergency under section 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The effects of this declaration are wide spread and are listed on the Province of Ontario’s website here.

The act legally requires establishments to close, such as: indoor recreational programs, public libraries, schools, licensed child care centres, restaurants (except for takeout), theatres, and concert venues.

On March 20th, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice declared an order under the act that goes further and has suspended limitation periods and procedural time periods for civil procedure cases - which includes personal injury cases. This is effective retroactively as of March 16th, 2020.

A limitation period defines the period of time after the date of an accident or incident that the injured party is allowed to file a claim. In general, this period of time is 2 years from that date. Under the emergency act, this means that if the 2 year limitation period is set to expire during the time that the emergency act has been declared, then the new limitation date will be effective after the act has been lifted. This holds true for any court documents that must be filed on a date that is covered by the emergency act.

At The Morris Law Group, you are our first priority. If you have a file with us and have any questions, please contact your team member by email or phone. We will be monitoring this situation and will advise our clients when new information has been shared. During this time our office is still open, but only with a minimal amount of staff onsite. We have setup work-from-home procedures to allow our staff to practice social distancing and to aid with any required self-isolation, while still providing our clients with the services they require.