This week the BC Supreme Court struck down regulations limiting the amount of disbursements a party can claim when prosecuting an ICBC claim as being both unconstitutional and contrary to administrative law principles.
By way of background, the current BC Government has taken many steps limiting the rights of BC crash victims in order to grow ICBC’s bottom line. This culminated in full blown ‘no fault’ insurance taking away the rights of crash victims to sue those that injure them except in the most limited of circumstances. There are many active claims, however, that pre-date the no-fault era and the Government has been trying their best to limit the rights of those victims in their disputes with ICBC.
In 2019 the BC Supreme Court found a rule limiting how many expert witnesses a plaintiff could rely on to be unconstitutional. After this loss the BC Government took another kick at the can passing a regulation under the Evidence Act saying plaintiff’s could only recover disbursements totalling 6% the value of their claim in an ICBC fight. This made crash victims face the unwelcome choice of either not bringing sufficient evidence to court or knowing that if they do they may not have the right to recover the costs of doing so. Mr. Justice Smith presided over the challenge to this regulation in Le v. British Columbia (Attorney General) and this past week provided reasons striking it down both on administrative law and constitutional principles. In doing so Justice Smith provided the following comments on the regulation: