Distinction between Adding a Party and Adding an Individual to the Factual Narrative

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In Eliot Shore v Capital Sports Properties Inc., 2018 ONSC 3064, the Court differentiated between “adding a party to an existing claim” as opposed to “adding a new individual to the factual narrative” after the limitation period passed.

The plaintiffs named an individual in respect of certain allegations made in an amended statement of claim. Section 21 of the Ontario Limitations Act prohibits adding a new party to an existing claim once the limitation period has passed. As a result, the defendants attempted to strike the amendment due to the limitation period being expired. However, the court held that the limitation period argument did not apply because the plaintiff added the name to the narrative rather than as an additional party. 

While the court ultimately concluded that the plaintiff could not name the new person in the narrative (because it contained new allegations that were not permitted pursuant to a previous Order of the Court), this decision illustrates that there is a distinction between adding a new party and adding a new individual to the narrative of the claim for the purpose of limitation periods.