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July 9, 2014

Limitation to Add Defendants Expired

Issues relating to discoverability can be decided on a motion to amend a claim.

In Garic v. Mack Trucks Canada 2014 ONSC 3103 (S.C.J.), the plaintiff was injured in 2006 while operating a dump truck owned by her husband.  One of the axles gave way, causing her to lose control and roll into a ditch.  Her husband was initially named as an FLA claimant.

In 2012, the plaintiff brought a motion seeking to add her (now former) husband and his company as defendants for failing to maintain the vehicle.  She argued the claim was not discoverable until the named defendants gave evidence on discovery that the owner had not followed proper maintenance procedures. 

The Court dismissed the motion to add defendants, holding that:

[19]           The difficulty with the plaintiff's position is that the case law has established that to discover a claim the plaintiff must only have sufficient facts upon which to support an allegation that there is a cause of action, and it is not necessary for the plaintiff to have discovered complete evidentiary support to make the claim winnable (see Wilkinson v Braithwaite [2011] O.J. No. 1714 (S.C.J.) at para. 32).
The Statement of Claim alleged the named defendants were responsible for "service, inspection and maintenance" of the truck, which was expressly denied in the Statement of Defence.  The plaintiff knew her husband was responsible for maintenance of the truck since the business commenced.  Justice Broad held that the essential facts were either actually known to the plaintiff or at least obtainable with due diligence more than two years since the motion was brought.

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