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

The District of Stewart has adopted a strategic plan for 2020/21 with six focus areas. (District of Stewart/Facebook)
Stewart adopts 2020 strategic plan

Economy, community areas of focus

Kendra Willems, seen here Nov. 5, created a Facebook page to help facilitate social supports such as clothing donations in an informal manner that supplements existing supports and charities. (Jake Wray/Terrace Standard)
Skeena Voices | ‘We could all use that kind of goodness’

Kendra Willems, new to Terrace, founds charitable Facebook page

Firefighters work to cool a semi truck engine that caught fire at the corner of Eby St. and Hwy 16 around 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 26
Semi truck engine catches fire in Terrace

Hwy 16 briefly closed between Sande Overpass and Eby St.

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross at his swearing in on Thursday (Nov. 26), with his wife, Tracey, left, mother, Frieda, and grandson, Parker. (Ellis Ross photo)
Ellis Ross sworn in as Skeena MLA

Ceremonies happening virtually rather than all in-person in Victoria

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

More than 60 cm of snow has fallen at Ulkatcho First Nation near Anahim Lake in the Chilcotin since a snowfall warning went into effect Thursday, Nov. 26. (Graham West photo)
VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

Graham West of Ulkatcho First Nation captures the scene on video

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

School District 27 announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week (Nov. 23) at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Entire gym class at northern B.C. high school isolating after confirmed COVID case

Contact tracing by Interior Health led to the quarantine

Most Read