FILE - Premier John Horgan at #BCTECHSummit 2018. (flickr/Province of British Columbia)

B.C. government considering options in ICBC medical expert case: Horgan

Changes aimed at curbing costs at the financially troubled Insurance Corp. of B.C.

Premier John Horgan says the B.C. government hasn’t decided if it will appeal a court ruling that throws out restrictions on the number of medical expert reports that can be used in auto insurance claims that go before judges.

The British Columbia Supreme Court has set aside the limitation, which Attorney General David Eby introduced as part of a number of changes aimed at curbing costs at the financially troubled Insurance Corp. of B.C.

Justice Christopher Hinkson says limiting the number of medical expert reports to three in a case is unconstitutional and encroaches on the court’s jurisdiction to control its process.

His ruling this week says it restricts the core function of the court to decide a case fairly using the evidence adduced by the parties.

Horgan says he is disappointed by the ruling and the Finance Ministry is looking at the impact it will have on ICBC.

He also disagreed with the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. when it disputed a government claim that limiting testimony at trials would save $400 million a year.

“We made the decision to move in this direction, with the rules of court, because the costs were so high,” he said. “If lawyers can do it for a fraction of the price, then good for them, but that’s certainly not the evidence of the billings that we were receiving.”

READ MORE: B.C. loses court ruling on limiting experts in ICBC injury cases

The lawyers association, which acted as a petitioner in the case, says it was concerned the proposed changes would compromise the access litigants have to a fair trial.

Horgan said the court’s decision means the province will have “to reboot and take a look at the budget issues.”

“This decision is going to give us pause. We’re going to have to take stock on how we can best provide insurance for drivers.”

Changes to the public insurer’s payments and procedures were announced last year, shortly after Eby referred to ICBC as a “financial dumpster fire.”

He said in February that accident injury claims have increased 43 per cent in the past five years and the use of experts has contributed to a 20 per cent rise in the corporation’s injury settlements in the past year.

The latest fiscal year ended March 31 and the corporation announced in February that its projected deficit was $1.18 billion, on top of the $1.3 billion loss posted over the 2017-18 fiscal year. (CHNL, The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press

READ MORE: ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. government invests $7.5 million through Creative BC to help struggling musicians

Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission, led industry consultations on supports during the pandemic

Fort Gallery re-opens part time to public with exhibition of artist Richard Bond’s work

Fraser Prospect continues Fraser River themed project that the gallery began in January

Langley beekeepers on alert for giant honeybee-murdering hornets recently sighted

Aldergrove beekeeper Bryn Jones ‘concerned’ after South Langley giant Asian hornet sighting

VIDEO: Langley Senior Ladies Golf is back for the season

The group meets Tuesday mornings at the Langley Golf Centre and all skill levels are welcome

McLeod Athletic Park still closed as $5 million upgrades near completion

Park will host National Track and Field Championships and BC High School Championships

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Langley Advance Times to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read