Beauchamp v. Gervais: Dunphy J. clarifies when an amendment is not a new cause of action for the purposes of the limitation period

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It is trite that a pleading cannot be amended to assert a new cause of action if the cause of action is statute-barred.  In Beauchamp v. Gervais, 2015 ONSC 5848, Justice Dunphy set out types of permissible amendments that will not qualify as a new cause of action:

  1. an alternative claim for relief, or a statement of different legal conclusions based on no new facts or not going beyond the factual matrix from which the original claim arose;
  2. better particulars of the claims already made;
  3. a correction of errors in the original pleading; or
  4. the assertion of a new head of damage arising from the same facts.

If the amendments cannot be characterized in one of these ways, the amendments will not likely be permitted.