New Brunswick Update: Notice Now Required to Sue a Municipality

July 25, 2018

On January 1, 2018, the Province of New Brunswick repealed the Municipalities Act and replaced it with the Local Governance Act. A section of this new Act requires that people who were injured in a place maintained or owned by municipalities, for instance the sidewalk, must now give notice to municipalities if they wish to bring an action against them for damages for personal injury.

This notice must be given within 90 days after the occurrence of the event. If plaintiffs fail to notify the municipality, they will not be able to claim damages for personal injury. There are some exceptions to this limitation period.  However it is still not clear if New Brunswick Courts will be lenient with this delay. Therefore, it will be crucial to respect the 90 days limitation.

Insurers should take notice of this change, as it will affect the issuance of a Third Party Claim against a municipality, should a municipality be potentially liable for a loss.  While a ‘waiver’ of defence might be obtained by an Insurer from a Plaintiff, in the case of a loss, such waiver will not apply to the issuance of an eventual Third Party Claim.  Accordingly, Insurers must now be that much more diligent in observing this limitation period for Notice to a municipality.

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