Ontario Civil

Civil Practice and Procedure

Limitation of actions

Actions in contract or debt

Homeowners were not relying on good faith efforts of company to deal with their concerns

Appellant homeowners contracted with respondent company, to install HVAC system in their residence. Installation was completed in late 2006. Problems arose with HVAC system almost immediately after installation. Maintenance done by company was unsuccessful. After one final failure of system in fall of 2010, homeowners contacted U.S. based manufacturer of system. Manufacturer informed homeowners that improper installation was cause of system failure. Homeowners brought action against company in February 2012. Company claimed action was statute-barred, as homeowners were aware of problems well before February of 2010. Company successfully moved for summary judgment, to dismiss action. Homeowners appealed from dismissal of action. Appeal dismissed. Knowledge of company’s installation of system and subsequent problems, constituted knowledge that was sufficient to start claim. It was not necessary for homeowners to know cause of problem from manufacturer. By fall of 2009, homeowners’ concerns about company were clear, from evidence of homeowner himself. Homeowners were not relying on good faith efforts of company to deal with these concerns. Homeowners had at least by this time, discovered concerns that would allow them to bring action.

Zeppa v. Woodbridge Heating & Air-Conditioning Ltd. (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 1342, 2019 ONCA 47, G.R. Strathy C.J.O., K. Feldman J.A., and David Brown J.A. (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 15909, 2017 ONSC 5847, P.J. Monahan J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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