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ICBC Ordered to Pay Claimant’s Administration Fee…Again

ICBC continues to show a lack of respect to the court and to claimants  by refusing to pay a law society trust administration fee.  The auto insurance monopoly ICBC, wanting total control over the claim process, has ignored the ongoing orders and directions of the Supreme Court.

ICBC employs many lawyers to assist ICBC adjusters in defending injury claims yet ICBC does not want claimants to have a legal advocate looking out for the claimants best interest.

The  disbursement that was contested in this injury case was the Trust Administration Fee (the TAF) of $15 paid to the Law Society of British Columbia. TAF is paid by the claimant’s lawyer to the law society. A lawyer must pay a TAF to the Law Society when the lawyer receives money in trust for each client matter.

For over five years the court has said this modest fee must be paid by ICBC, as insured for the at fault driver, yet ICBC continues to refuse payment of this modest cost (see Christen v. McKenzie, 2013 BCSC 1317 at para. 37).

As Registrar Cameron states,

[6] … on numerous occasions on assessments that I have presided over I have advised counsel for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, who are retained to defend these motor vehicle related personal injury claims under our provincial automobile insurance program, that unless there is an issue as to whether or not the Plaintiff’s counsel has received a deposit into trust in respect of resolution of the litigation, there is absolutely no justification to put the trust administration fee into issue.

[7] I have said to counsel, who come with instructions to oppose the TAF disbursement that those instructions are simply misguided and the matter ought not to be raised on an assessment unless there is an issue about the deposit being made. There is no such issue in this case…         

[9] In this case the Plaintiff was put to unnecessary cost to address this objection to the TAF and I am satisfied that it is appropriate pursuant to Rule 14-1(14)(b) to allow an additional amount for costs in recognition of the failure of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia to abide by the very clear case law not to make TAF an issue unless there is a proper basis for doing so.

[10]  Finding that there was no proper basis in this case and that the concession was only made this morning, I allow the Plaintiff an additional $250 in costs.(Garayt v. Deneumoustier,2018 BCSC 295)

Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.

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"Renn A. Holness is a gifted lawyer and author to over 1000 legal blog articles. Married father of two daughters, son of a neurosurgeon and founder of Holness Law Group."

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