BC government, ICBC hit with $900 million proposed class-action lawsuit

BC government, ICBC hit with $900 million proposed class-action lawsuit
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WatchA class-action lawsuit filed in BC Supreme Court alleges B.C. drivers have been over-charged for insurance by ICBC. And the suit alleges that accident victims are under-compensated.

Instead of enjoying retirement, 70-year-old Bob Rorison is on his way to his lawyer’s office.

He’s part of a class-action lawsuit against the B.C. government and ICBC. In the civil suit, Rorison represents all B.C. drivers who paid for compulsory auto insurance through ICBC.

Rorison said he’s a driver with a clean record.

“I don’t have any tickets, I might have a windshield claim. That sort of thing.  But I think I’ve been an impeccable driver,” Rorison said.

But for fifty years, his ICBC premiums never went down. Only up. And he says the claw-back by the province of up to $60 million annually from ICBC drove up the public insurer’s operating costs.

“I want that money back. I could use that money for something else. It’s not fair. If you buy something from somebody and they misrepresent it, and you give them extra money for something, and you don’t get that, you want your money back,” Rorison said.

A serious crash in 2014 left Brayden Methot a quadriplegic. He’s the second plaintiff in the lawsuit, representing injury victims.

“I thought you could trust ICBC to look after these things while I’m in the hospital,” Methot said.

Methot only receives $363 a month from ICBC.   He says it’s not nearly enough to live on. The lawsuit claims a secret agreement allowed the B.C. government to skim money from ICBC to pay doctors’ fees for injury victims, instead of billing the Medical Services Plan.

“I wouldn’t be able to live the life I live right now without family and friends behind me,” Rorison said.

Both the government and ICBC are reviewing the lawsuit before determining their next steps.  ICBC President Nicolas Jimenez said they just received notice of the suit. 

“We can’t make any comment because it’s literally less than 24 hours since we’ve had it in our possession.”

If the civil suit is approved and succeeds, both men would share in any settlement reached on behalf of all B.C. drivers and crash injury victims.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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