Victoria, British Columbia — If the current state of auto insurance in British Columbia wasn’t confusing enough, the province’s attorney general is applying for a partial stay in a B.C. Supreme Court ruling about jurisdiction over motor vehicle injury disputes, pending its appeal of the same decision.
On March 2, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled that ICBC’s (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia) updated settlement model, introduced in April of 2019, is unconstitutional.
The Civil Resolution Tribunal Act was introduced as a way to mitigate the significant costs accrued by ICBC in what they consider to be “lower-value disputes” by allowing customers to seek settlement from a tribunal, outside a traditional court of law.
However, a lawsuit from the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. and its subsequent judgement found that the act denied injured people their constitutional right to go to court.
B.C.’s Attorney General, David Eby, is now calling for the judgment to be put on hold to allow the tribunal time to resolve existing disputes that occurred after April 1, 2019 and were moving through the tribunal’s process at the time of the March 2 judgment.
The ruling does not affect the tribunal’s upcoming jurisdiction over enhanced care benefits, reductions in ICBC rates effective May 1, or rebates being sent to ratepayers after cost savings from fewer crashes during the COVID-19 pandemic, Eby said in a statement on Thursday.