In what circumstances have courts found that a plaintiff deliberately delayed serving a writ?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Complainant v. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, 2010 BCHPRB 20 (CanLII):

Kovic v. Waechter et al involved a lawsuit against two doctors that arose out of the unfortunate death of a child on March 25, 1979. The plaintiff issued a writ almost a year later on February 29, 1980 but did not serve the writ until more than another year had passed on March 3, 1981. Since the writ was served out of time, the doctors asked the plaintiff to provide them with any material the plaintiff would file for an application to renew to writ. The plaintiff made an exparte application to renew the writ and obtained an order on March 10, 1981. However, the plaintiff did not serve the doctors with the renewed writ, the March 10, 1981 order or the filed material until January and February of 1982. Even then, no statement of claim was filed. In that case, the court found that the plaintiff had purposely delayed serving the writ and that he failed to proceed with due diligence.

In Cleugh v. Jones, the plaintiff applied to the court for an adjournment of a trial of a malpractice claim. That claim arose from the birth of an infant that had occurred more than 6 years earlier and the damage portion of the claim would not be heard for at least another two years. The plaintiff wanted to postpone the trial of the liability issue but the judge did not grant the adjournment.

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