Posted by Graeme Maitland — filed in Litigation
The Alberta government has removed limitation provisions that would bar survivors of sexual or domestic abuse from making claims against their abusers. Now, there is no time limit for people who want to sue their abusers and seek damages. But being able to sue someone does not mean that they will win the case. Time can be bad for preserving evidence which can greatly affect a case.
The amendments to the Limitations Act state that no limitation period exists in respect to claims of sexual assault or battery. For claims relating to sexual misconduct that are not assault or battery, or claims of non-sexual assault or battery, a person must have been: a minor, in an intimate relationship with the abuser, a dependant of the abuser, or disabled for there to be no limitation period.
These amendments are retroactive. This means that no matter when the abuse happened, a claim can be made. This includes claims that were previously struck down because of the limitation period.
While eliminating the limitation period allows for a claim to be made, there will always be a problem around how much time has passed since the abuse. The problem isn’t that historic cases of abuse are treated differently. Problems arise because the more time between the abuse and the claim, the more likely people are to forget things or loose evidence. This makes a case harder to prove, even though it’s being judged on a balance of probabilities.
If you require assistance in making or defending a claim, contact a lawyer at Aarbo Fuldauer LLP in Calgary.
Address: 3rd Floor, 1131 Kensington Road NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 3P4
Phone: (403) 571-5120