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Invitation to Settle does not Extend Limitation Period

In Trombley v. Pannu, 2015 BCSC 1889, the plaintiff’s claim was summarily dismissed because her slip and fall action was started after the applicable two-year limitation period. Before the limitation period expired, plaintiff’s counsel discussed the claim with the defendant’s insurance adjuster. The adjuster obtained information about the incident as well as medical records from the plaintiff. The adjuster also wrote to plaintiff’s counsel referring to the upcoming limitation period and requesting a settlement proposal. The plaintiff commenced her claim two months after the two year limitation period expired.

At a summary trial, plaintiff counsel argued that the invitation to settle the claim extended the limitation period. The court disagreed, finding that the invitation was without prejudice and fell short of an admission of liability which is required in order to extend the limitation period. Although the result was positive for the defence, the case highlights the caution that adjusters must take in communicating with a claimant within a limitation period, in order to avoid extending it.

Case law summary by: Chelsea Lott