13 Nov BC Supreme Court Justice Puts British Columbians First

In the spring, the B.C. Attorney General changed the rules of court to limit the number of experts British Columbians would be allowed to have testify on their behalf at trial. Why should you care?  Because people who suffer injuries in car accidents need expert evidence to prove the extent of their damages.

If you suffer serious injuries in a car accident, you cannot prove those injuries in court without experts who can comment on the nature of your injuries, the effect on you and the probable impact on your future. This includes the effect on your future ability to work and the need for different types of care required to maximize your recovery.

When the government limited the number of experts a person could use, those hit hardest were the most seriously injured because, in general, those people require the most number of experts to prove their case.

The Trial Lawyers Association of BC challenged this rule change in court because they understood that the proposed changes would negatively impact British Columbians’ access to a fair trial (Crowder v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2019 BCSC 1824).

Chief Justice Hickson has just come out with a decision, supporting the position of The Trial Lawyers Association of BC! He found that parts of the changed rule were unconstitutional, and thus had no force or effect.

In his verdict, the Chief Justice stated:  “Considering the totality of the submission and evidence before me, I find that the impugned Rule compromises and dilutes the role of the court, and encroaches upon a core area of the court’s jurisdiction to control its process… because it restricts a core function of the court to decide a case fairly upon the evidence adduced by the parties”.

With this verdict, Chief Justice Hinkson has restored the right of British Columbians to prove the harms and losses they have suffered, and to receive the compensation to which they are entitled under the law.