In Atsaidis v. Sanford, 2022 ONSC 1690, the defendant raised a limitations defence in a personal injury action arising from an incident in 2013. In November 2020, a trial date of June 2022 was scheduled. Subsequently, in March 2022, the parties, on consent, sought to adjourn the pre-trial conference and the trial, so that the defendant could bring a summary judgment motion to determine the limitation period issue.
Justice D.A. Wilson denied the consent adjournment request, stating: “…how does adjourning the trial to allow a motion that could have been brought years ago to potentially dispose of the action provide timely access to justice for the parties? It does not, it simply adds to the delay. Adjourning the trial date would mean a delay of the trial until 2024, some 11 years after the event giving rise to this action”.
Justice Wilson also noted that the Toronto Practice Direction only permits adjournments of trials in extenuating circumstances, of which there were none in the present case.
Despite not adjourning the trial, Justice Wilson permitted the defendant’s summary judgment to heard by the trial judge prior to the commencement of the trial.