Grant Thornton LLP v. New Brunswick 2021 SCC
Province sued accounting firm for negligence resulting in losses to the Province because of an inadequate audit on which the Province relied. The Province knew about the problems with the audit on Feb 4, 2011 when it received an opinion from another auditor. The Province did not commence its action until Jun 23, 2014. Since, seemingly, the two-year limitation period may have expired, the accounting firm brought a motion to dismiss the action. The NB Court of Appeal held that the Province had to have knowledge of each of the constituent elements of the cause of action and dismissed the motion. The Supreme Court reversed; it held that the appropriate test was whether the Province had enough knowledge, actual or constructive, of the material facts to draw a plausible inference of liability. In this case, it did.
Written by Jonathan Speigel, the founding partner of Speigel Nichols Fox LLP, leads the litigation and construction practices.