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

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

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Spirit of the North Kennel Photo: Jennifer Small
Dog sled adventures in the West Kootenay

Spirit of the North Kennels in Salmo offers dog sled trips

South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kamloops hospital grows to 66 cases

A majority of cases remain among staff at Royal Inland Hospital

Most Read