February 21, 2019
Scott Stanley recently commented in the Lawyer’s Daily on the B.C. government’s move to change the Supreme Court Civil Rules to limit the number of expert witnesses allowed in motor vehicle accident claims. The limits would affect the number of experts and expert reports allowed to address critical issues for injured people like damages for wage loss, future wage loss and the cost of future care. In cases where a claim is “fast-tracked” only one expert and report would be allowed, and for claims valued at more than $100,000, the number of experts and expert reports would be capped at three. Judges retain discretion to allow additional court-appointed or joint experts.
The concern is that changes to address the litigation cost of injury claims to ICBC operate to severely restrict the rights and ability of injured people to prove their claims properly. A further concern is that the changes were passed without public debate in the legislature.
Scott Stanley argued that the government should not be taking away the rights of British Columbians. Scott suggested that rather than cutting off British Columbians’ access to justice and basic compensation, an alternative (that he noted has been proposed several times) is to set a cap on what can be charged for an expert report.
The amendments come into effect immediately upon deposit for motor vehicle-related claims and will apply to all personal injury claims starting February 1, 2020 (subject to plans for further analysis and consultation).
*This article was originally published by The Lawyer’s Daily (www.thelawyersdaily.ca), part of LexisNexis Canada Inc.