Ron Nairne, Incoming President of the Trial Lawyers Association of BC writes to the Vancouver Sun Editor in regards to Last month, Attorney General David Eby statement that a key driver in increasing ICBC costs is “plaintiff lawyers strategically building the value of the claim,” suggesting there is something untoward in lawyers doing their jobs. His statement implies that claims being advanced are somehow not genuine.
Eby’s swipe at the legal community is disappointing and misplaced. As a lawyer and the attorney general responsible for the administration of justice in British Columbia, Eby knows better. By taking a shot at the representation lawyers are sworn to provide their clients, Eby suggests that through the legal process injured British Columbians get compensation they don’t deserve. The effect is a loss of respect for the legal process.
Eby may be better-spoken than U.S. President Donald Trump, but the attack on the rule of law is no less alarming than Trump’s frequent jabs at the American legal system.
Insurance Corp. of B.C. claims take time to resolve because injuries sometimes take time to resolve as well. While most people will recover from injuries from a motor-vehicle accident in a few months, others develop permanent symptoms. It is often not possible to know at the time of the crash what injuries will heal and what will lead to a lifetime of disability.
Eby’s comments only serve to distract, not contribute, to an understanding of what has really happened at ICBC. As Eby knows, ICBC’s financial position is a product of mismanagement, rising crash rates and past governments treating the public insurance company as the government’s piggy bank.