The B.C. goverment's efforts to reduce ICBC's legal expenses aren't going over well in the legal community.
According to Global B.C. News, the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. plans to launch a constitutional challenge on Monday (April 1) against the B.C. government capping pain and suffering awards for minor injury claims at $5,500.
Global B.C. reporter Richard Zussman also revealed that the lawyers' group will challenge the province's decision to divert "minor" motor-vehicle injury claims of less than $50,000 away from the courts.
Starting on Monday, these claims will be resolved through an online process overseen by the Civil Resolution Tribunal.
In the legislature last month, Attorney General David Eby estimated that this particular change would reduce the number of injury cases going to B.C. Supreme Court by about 80 percent.
The government also predicts that these measures and other initiatives could save ICBC $1 billion per year.
In the first three quarters of this fiscal year, the Crown-owned insurer lost $860 million.
The lawyers' group, however, argues that access to justice is guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms—and alleges that these changes infringe on that.