Professional Liability Period – BC

B.C. Engineers Push to Reduce Ultimate Liability Period – Canadian Consulting Engineer

10-year ultimate limitation period would bring B.C. into line with Alberta, helping to promote intermobility for professionals between the two provinces. The removal of barriers to the movement of labour between Alberta and B.C. is the goal of their TILMA agreement, which became effective on April 1.
The B.C. associations argue that a 30 year ultimate limitation period is unfair and does not take into account factors such as that witness’s memories fade over decades and documents become lost. The paper also points out that currently professionals have to carry expensive liability insurance well into their retirement just in case a lawsuit over a past project should arise.
The professional associations also want any new legislation to clearly spell out what triggers the ultimate limitation period. They argue that it should begin running from the time the wrongful act was actually done, not from the time a problem is discovered. In the case of construction, that would mean the period would begin from when the project is substantially complete. They are hoping that legislation to reduce the period to 10 years will be introduced into the provincial legislature by the spring of 2008.

Considering that I’m just about to make my foray into the hard and fast world of consulting engineering as a Professional Engineer, I’m thinkings it’s pretty good to see that the Association and Consulting Engineers Society are working at providing fair and equitable conditions for Engineers in the province. This one is a pretty hot topic for consulting engineers, and will surely be the source of much debate over the next six months.

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Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.