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Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 8:44 AM  


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Motion by a home inspector to have the claim against him dismissed. The owners of a residential property commenced an action in 2011 regarding the discovery of an underground storage tank on their property in 2009. They sought damages against the previous owner of the property, the real estate agents who acted for them, and the company that conducted a home inspection for them prior to their purchase in 2005. The defendants in the main action learned in 2011 that there had been a home inspection done on the property in 1995. They made no efforts to ascertain the identity of the home inspector. In 2015, after learning the home inspector’s identity, the defendants commenced claims for contribution and indemnity against him.

HELD: Motion allowed. There was no absolute two-year limitation period for claims for contribution and indemnity under the Limitations Act. It would be illogical and incoherent for the legislature to provide that claims for contribution and indemnity were subject to an absolute two-year limitation period, while simultaneously providing that the same claims were subject to an absolute 15-year limitation period. The principle of discoverability applied to claims for contribution and indemnity under the Act. The identity of the home inspector was discoverable. The defendants should reasonably have been able to take steps to ascertain the home inspector’s identity. The defendants, with their abilities and in their circumstances, ought to have discovered their claim against the home inspector more than two years prior to the commencement of their claims for contribution and indemnity.

Murphy v. S.P. Hart Home Inspections, [2018] O.J. No. 1365, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, P.J. Monahan J. March 14, 2018. Digest No. TLD-April162008005