Rorison et al. v ICBC et al., Court file No. S202406, Vancouver Registry
WHAT IS THE CLAIM ABOUT?
On March 3, 2020, Murphy Battista LLP filed a proposed class action against the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (“ICBC”) and the Government of the province of British Columbia (the “Government”) for making payments to the Medical Service Plan contrary to law. These payments have cost ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars and driven up insurance costs unnecessarily and unlawfully. In addition, those payments have caused accident victims to receive fewer benefits than they would have received had ICBC acted lawfully.
The claim seeks recovery for BC’s motorists and accident victims of the hundreds of millions of dollars in payments ICBC has unlawfully made to the Government of British Columbia since 1973.
WHO DOES IT AFFECT?
The claim is being made on behalf of two classes of plaintiffs:
Accident Victim Class
All persons who received Accident Benefits (the “Accident Benefits Recipients”) from ICBC up to the Limit since 1973 (the “Accident Victim Class”). The Accident Victim Class includes the surviving spouses, dependents and estates, of the Accident Benefits Recipients as applicable.
All persons who purchased compulsory auto insurance from ICBC since 1973 (the “Ratepayer Class”).
STATUS OF THE CLASS ACTION
April 22, 2022: Justice Smith issued reasons for judgment with respect to certification.
The Accident Victim Class was certified as a class action. This means this claim will proceed as a class action. The common issues that were certified are as follows:
- Did ICBC charge to the Accident Benefits accounts of members of the Accident Victim Class, and pay the Province (including MSP) amounts in respect of services for which ICBC was not liable under statute or regulation?
- If so, is ICBC liable to the Accident Victim Class in (a) negligence; (b) breach of contract and/or breach of its duty of good faith; and/or (c)
- Should the Court award punitive damages against ICBC to the Accident Victim Class and, if so, in what amounts?
- Should any award for punitive damages be made as an aggregate award, and if so, in what amount?
In 2021 the Province passed legislation seeking to defeat the claim by the Ratepayer Class. The only claim left for the Court to consider was whether the Ratepayer Class could proceed on the basis of an unlawful tax. The Court declined to certify the Ratepayer Class. This decision was appealed.
- Read the Reasons for Judgment in Rorison v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, 2022 BCSC 624
December 9, 2022: Class Action Certification Order Issued
- Read the Certification Order
- Read the Long Form Notice
- Read the Short Form Notice
- Read the Litigation Plan (referenced in the Long and Short Form notices)
INFORMATION FOR OPTING OUT OF THE MSP CLASS ACTION
If you want to sue ICBC on your own, then you must take steps to exclude yourself from the MSP Class Action. This is called “opting out”.
What happens if you opt-out?
If you opt-out:
- You will not be able to claim from any money that results from the MSP Class Action;
- You will not be bound by anything that happens in the lawsuit; and
- You will keep any right to sue ICBC on your own.
What happens if you do NOT opt-out?
If you do NOT opt-out:
- You will be able to claim from any money that results from the MSP Class Action;
- You will be bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit;
- You will give up all your rights to sue ICBC about this same problem.
How to Opt-out
If you wish to opt-out of the MSP Class Action you must send a signed letter to Class Counsel stating that you are a class member in the MSP Class Action lawsuit and that you want to opt out (“Notice to Opt-out”). Your Notice to Opt-out must be sent by six (6) months after the Notice Program set out in paragraph 5 of the Litigation Plan.
You can send the Notice to Opt-out by mail or email to:
Murphy Battista LLP
MSP Class Action Lawsuit
2020 – 650 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 4N7
Email: [email protected]
Alternatively, you may download the Opt-out Notice below, complete it and send it to the mailing or email address above.
NOTE: The time to opt-out has not yet been set. This will be determined when the appeals relating to the Certification Order have been concluded.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
- Notice of Civil Claim
- Reasons for Judgment – Rorison v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, 2022 BCSC 624
- Certification Order
- Long Form Notice
- Short Form Notice
- Litigation Plan
- Opt-out Notice
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does a class action work?
A “class action” is a claim filed by an individual who proposes to represent all other similarly affected individuals (the “class”). The individual claimant asks the court to appoint them as the representative of the class in pursuing their claim and the members of the class benefit from the claim pursued by the representative plaintiff. In other words, if the representative plaintiff succeeds, the members of the class succeed. A representative plaintiff, and their lawyers, must be certified by the court as the “representative plaintiff’ and “class counsel.” Once appointed the members of the class receive notice, as approved by the court, of certification of the class claim.
Who are the proposed representative plaintiffs?
The proposed representative plaintiffs in this class action are:
- Rorison, a motorist and resident of British Columbia, for the Ratepayers Class.
- Methot, a disabled former motorist, for the Accident Victim Class.
Both Rorison and Methot were insured persons under the Insurance (Vehicle) Act and Regulations at all material times.
Who are the lawyers?
A team of lawyers at Murphy Battista LLP, led by J. Scott Stanley and Joe Murphy, K.C., are representing Methot and Rorison and the proposed classes of Accident Victims and Ratepayers. Joe is a founding partner of Murphy Battista LLP and he and Scott (also a partner at the firm) are experienced trial lawyers who have together, and independently, obtained multi-million-dollar awards on behalf of injured claimants.
Have other claims been filed?
What can I do in the meantime?
If you are a member of the class, you will ultimately receive notice of the court process and the result of the litigation should it be successful. However, if you believe you or a member of your family (even if deceased) was either an Accident Victim or Ratepayer in BC from 1973 to the present it is useful for Murphy Battista to hear from you.
You can contact us by submitting the information requested in the form below. The form requests the following:
- Your full legal name (include any aliases):
- Your telephone number(s) (indicating preferred contact number):
- Who you are submitting the information on behalf of (whether on your own behalf or on behalf of a family member):
- Your contact email:
The information will be forwarded to J. Scott Stanley and Joe Murphy, K.C., the contact lawyers for the class action.
How do I contact Murphy Battista for Information about the MSP Class Action?
For information about this class action you can:
Email [email protected]
Call Murphy Battista’s Vancouver office at (604) 683-9621 and ask to speak to a member of the legal team handling the MSP Class Action. Reception will transfer your call to someone who can help you.
In the News
- Thanks for ripping me off: B.C. government, ICBC hit with $900M proposed class action lawsuit
- Class action suit filed against ICBC over $900 million illegal scheme
- Near-billion-dollar lawsuit claims ICBC illegally paid victims’ accident benefits to province
- Mike Smyth: $900-million class action lawsuit targets ICBC
- Possible class-action lawsuit against ICBC payments to MSP
- Proposed class-action lawsuit filed against ICBC in Supreme Court
In the News
Vancouver Sun and Global News cover certification of class action against ICBC on behalf of accident victims
April 27, 2022
The Vancouver Sun and Global News have covered the recent certification of a class action against ICBC and the province on behalf of accident victims. Read the Vancouver Sun coverage here: Class Action Lawsuit certified against ICBC over benefits to accident victims Global News coverage below.Continue Reading
Scott Stanley and Elizabeth Emery successfully obtain order certifying a class action against ICBC on behalf of accident victims
April 25, 2022
Scott Stanley and Elizabeth Emery successfully obtained an order certifying a class action against ICBC on behalf of Accident Victims who allege that ICBC wrongfully took money from their accident benefit accounts and paid this money to the Province of B.C. pursuant to an illegal scheme. Compensation for the Accident…Continue Reading
ICBC Apologizes to Class Action Representative Plaintiff
April 20, 2021
Read the full story in the Vancouver Sun: ICBC apologizes to accident victim in class action lawsuitContinue Reading
ICBC MSP Class Action Certification Hearing to Go Ahead April 27, 2021.
November 6, 2020
The application for certification of a class action against ICBC is set for April 27, 2021. At this time an order will be sought certifying a class action on behalf of the Accident Victim Class and the Ratepayer Class. ICBC and the Province filed an application seeking leave to bring…Continue Reading
Disclaimer: The outcome of every legal proceeding will vary according to the facts and unique circumstances in each individual case. References to successful case results where the lawyers at Murphy Battista LLP have acted for clients are not necessarily a guarantee or indicative of future results.
Scott Stanley and Elizabeth Emery successfully obtained an order certifying a class action against ICBC on behalf of Accident Victims who allege that ICBC wrongfully took money from their accident benefit accounts and paid this money to the Province of B.C. pursuant to an illegal scheme. Compensation for the Accident Victims and punitive damages were certified as common issues.
Read the Reasons for Judgment in Rorison v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, 2022 BCSC 624
The Plaintiffs filed a class action seeking in excess of $900,000,000 from both ICBC and the Province of British Columbia. They alleged a scheme wherein ICBC and the Province illegally charged the costs of physician visits to accident victims which reduced the amount of rehabilitation funds available to persons injured in car accidents and caused ratepayers to pay more for their insurance. ICBC and the Province brought a preliminary application seeking an opportunity to apply to dismiss the claims prior to certification. This application was dismissed and the matter was ordered to proceed to certification.