In June, the New York Court of Appeals examined the application of a New York Choice of Law provision in a contract – a determinative issue for the case. In Ontario, Inc. v. Samsung C&T Corp., the issue was whether the plaintiff’s claims were subject to Ontario, Canada’s 2-year statute of limitations or New York’s 6-year statute of limitations for breach of contract where the contract contained a broad New York Choice of Law provision. The court found that pursuant to New York’s borrowing statute, Ontario’s more restrictive statute of limitations applied. The action was dismissed as time-barred, serving as a harsh reminder of the potential effects of choice of law and limitations periods.
The suit arose out of the following facts. In 2008, an Ontario renewable energy developer, SkyPower Corp. (“SkyPower”), entered into a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with the defendants which allowed the defendants to review SkyPower’s confidential and proprietary information. The review was conditioned on restricted disclosure and the requirement that the information would be destroyed after review.