Earlier this year BC’s Attorney General announced changes to the BC Supreme Court Rules limiting how many expert witnesses litigants can use when prosecuting a personal injury lawsuit arising from a motor vehicle collision. The rule change was brought in without notice and without support from the Rules committee.
The retroactive and without notice restriction was subject to much criticism and judicial challenges were swiftly brought. The Government has backed down and before a judicial challenge was ruled on they amended the rule to delay its application only to trials set from 2020 onward.
The new Order in Council, approved and ordered today, reads as follows:
1 Rule 11-8 (11) of the Supreme Court Civil Rules, B.C. Reg. 168/2009, is repealed and the following substituted:
Transition – exceptions for existing vehicle actions
(11) The following exceptions apply in relation to a vehicle action for which a notice of claim was filed before February 11, 2019:
(a) the limits set out in subrule (3) do not apply (i) to any report of an expert that was served in accordance with these Supreme Court Civil Rules before February 11, 2019, or (ii) to the vehicle action if the trial date set out in the notice of trial filed in relation to the vehicle action is on or before December 31, 2019;
(b) the limits set out in subrule (8) do not apply (i) to amounts that were necessarily or properly incurred for expert opinion evidence before February 11, 2019, or (ii) to the vehicle action in the circumstances referred to in paragraph (a) (ii).