August 2, 2022

Recently stories about British Columbians with life-changing injuries and what the province’s new no-fault system means in practical terms for their lives, have started to surface. The latest challenges to the legislation behind the system include a new constitutional challenge and the striking down of the Disbursements and Expert Evidence Regulation as unconstitutional.

Legislation being challenged on the basis of discrimination against disabled and injured people

Tim Schober’s experience with no-fault, after being hit by a car while he was biking left him paralyzed, prompted the Saanich resident, along with the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia (TLABC), to challenge ICBC’s no-fault legislation on the grounds that it discriminates against disabled and injured people in different ways. Car accident victims can no longer sue for compensation and get a lump sum like other injury victims, as such, they are limited in the benefits they can receive.

As Bill Dick, Q.C., President of the TLABC points out, this makes “injured people completely beholden to ICBC and the decision-makers at ICBC so you’re going to be controlled and supervised by them without really any opportunity to challenge that in any meaningful way.”

Learn more about Mr. Schober’s case, issues raised by other injured British Columbians, and commentary about the constitutional challenge in the following news stories:

British Columbia Disbursements and Expert Evidence Regulation struck down a second time for being unconstitutional

In addition, the British Columbia Supreme Court has struck down the provincial government’s attempt to preserve the part of its no-fault legislation scheme that caps the costs successful plaintiffs can recover for experts in personal injury suits. In ruling that the regulation was unconstitutional, Mr. Justice Nathan Smith’s judgement concluded:

“I, therefore, cannot ignore the reality that the impugned regulation operates to the immediate and primary benefit of ICBC. The thinly veiled purpose of this legislation is to improve the finances of ICBC by reducing the quantity of expert evidence in motor vehicle accident liability claims and to thus both reduce litigation costs and produce lower damage awards whether by way of settlement or at trial.”

See the news coverage on the recoverable costs issue here:

 

 

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