Ontario: no, Schmitz v. Lombard hasn’t been overturned

For the insurance bar, two points are worth noting in Justice Faieta’s decision in Buurman v. The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company.

First, the limitation periods in section 5.9.3 of OAP 1, section 8(3) of the Schedule to Ontario Regulation 676, and section 17 of OPCF 44R don’t trump the basic section 4 limitation period in the Limitations Act.  This is because these limitation periods are not included in the Limitations Act’s section 19 schedule.  This seems self-evident, but the defendant apparently thought it was an argument worth venturing.

Second, unsurprisingly, Justice Faieta found that the Court of Appeal decision in Lingard v. Milne-McIsaac didn’t overturn its decision Schmitz v. Lombard, which remains binding:   

[17]           Dominion submits that the last sentence of paragraph 11 of the Lingard decision should be read as deciding that the limitation period for a claim for indemnity against an insurer under OCPF 44R begins when the insured discovers that the other vehicle was uninsured …

[18]           It is my view that Schmitz was not overturned in Lingard for at least two reasons.  First, the focus of the Lingard decision was not whether the limitation period had expired.  The issue before the Court was whether the Plaintiff had acted diligently in seeking to add its insurer as a Defendant.  Accordingly, the Court’s findings regarding the commencement of the limitation period appear to be obiter.  On the other hand, in Schmitz the sole issue before the Court was the time at which the limitation period begins to run for an indemnity claim under OCPF 44R.  Second, unlike Schmitz, in Lingard the Court’s finding regarding the commencement of the limitation period is unsupported by any analysis.  Nor does it appear that Schmitz was drawn to the Court’s attention in Lingard.