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Digest: Ryan v. Moore
 S.C.J. No. 38
2005 SCC 38
Court File No. 29849
Supreme Court of Canada
June 16, 2005 (46 pp.)
On appeal from the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal,  N.J. No. 113.
In November 1997, Ryan was injured in a car accident involving Moore. Ryan was unaware that Moore died a month later due to causes unrelated to the accident, or that in February 1999 letters of administration were granted. Ryan did not issue his statement of claim against Moore until October 1999, which was within the two-year limitation period under the Limitations Act but more than six months after the letters of administration were granted and thus outside the limitation period of the Survival of Actions Act. Moore's insurer's application to strike the statement of claim was denied and Ryan's application to amend the statement of claim was granted. The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal determined that the Survival of Actions Act applied, but ruled the insurer was estopped to rely upon the six month limitation period.
Held: Appeal allowed. The statement of claim was stricken. The discoverability rule did not apply to the Survival of Actions Act. The limitation period was explicitly linked to the granting of the letters of administration, an event unrelated to Ryan's knowledge. The legislature displaced the discoverability rule in all situations to which the Survival of Actions Act applied. The Limitations Act did not apply to the Survival of Actions Act. The requirements to establish estoppel by convention were not met. Ryan did not rely on the alleged assumption that Moore was alive, and his conduct did not show an intention to affect the legal relations between the parties. In addition, a detriment is not established by a reduced limitation period. Ryan also did not establish estoppel by representation, which could not arise from silence unless a party is under a duty to speak. The insurer was under no duty to advise Ryan of a limitation period, to assist him in the prosecution of the claim, or to advise him of the consequences of the death of one of the parties.
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