FOR TORTS - Affecting the person - Assault

Law360 Canada (January 20, 2023, 6:46 AM EST) -- Appeal by Deluca from motion judge’s dismissal by summary judgment motion of her action against Bucciarelli. The motion judge found the action was barred by the basic two-year limitation period set out in s. 4 of the Limitations Act (Act). Deluca and Bucciarelli were involved in a romantic relationship between 2003 and 2010 but Deluca ended it in early November 2010. In January 2019, Deluca issued a statement of claim (SOC) against Bucciarelli claiming damages of $1.4 million for multiple causes of action including assault arising from Bucciarelli’s conduct toward her between December 2010 and sometime in 2012 after she had ended the relationship. Deluca did not claim that Bucciarelli harmed her physically, but asserted that after she terminated their relationship, beginning in December 2010 until sometime in 2012, Bucciarelli engaged in a harassing and threatening behaviour toward her that caused her to fear for her safety. Deluca raised several arguments on appeal. Deluca submitted that the motion judge reversed the burden of proof on a summary judgment motion and erred in appreciating the scope of s. 16(1)(h.2)(i) of the Act or in articulating or applying the elements of the tort of assault. Among other reasons, the motion judge found that Deluca had not brought herself within the ambit of s. 16(1)(h.2)(i) because she had not demonstrated she had reasonable grounds to believe that she was in danger of imminent harmful, offensive conduct or violence from Bucciarelli, nor had she adduced evidence of conduct by Bucciarelli that could meet the definition of “an assault” as it appeared in s. 16(1)(h.2)(i)....
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