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ICBC won't have to lift cap on payments ahead of trial, faces class-action claim

The provincial government passed a law allowing ICBC to cap disbursements in motor vehicle injury claims but the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia is arguing doing so is unconstitutional.
An ICBC policy limiting disbursements to six per cent of a claim is being challenged in court.

A B.C. judge has ruled against a temporary injunction application against ICBC limiting disbursements in motor vehicle personal injury claims.

B.C. resident Joanne Lesley Shrieves and the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia are challenging the constitutionality of the Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC) capping recoverable disbursements, such as the costs associated with taking a case to trial.

Ahead of the trial, Shrieves and the association had sought an injunction against ICBC’s Disbursements and Expert Evidence Regulation that caps such disbursements.

The provincial government regulation came into effect Nov. 27, 2023, capping repayment at six per cent of a plaintiff’s total claim or requiring a plaintiff to apply for the cap to be lifted.

The move is part of a broader effort to reduce car accident claims via a no-fault insurance system.

The application sought was to have the regulation inapplicable before the court decided on its constitutionality.

In the May 23 ruling, Justice Warren Milman did determine Shrieves appears to have a case that can be tried; however, plaintiffs would not suffer irreparable harm if the cap continued in the meantime but was later expunged by the court (the plaintiffs would be reimbursed if successful).

Meanwhile, on May 15, a class-action lawsuit was approved against ICBC for its longstanding arrangement to pay the provincial government for medical services provided to people injured in car accidents.

Robert Rorison “argues that this reimbursement to the province (the “MSP Payments”) wrongfully increased insurance costs for all buyers of compulsory vehicle insurance from the provincial Crown corporation and is, in fact, an unconstitutional tax.”

Rorison must now prove his case in court.

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