Limitation on Experts (12:IX)
|This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on July 18, 2021.|
NOTE: The following portion of this chapter was written prior to April 30, 2021. Therefore, though it is written in the present tense, please be advised that it applies only to claims for accidents that occurred on or before April 30, 2021.
(The information on this page affects all trials taking place after October 1, 2020, but not those for accidents that occur after the introduction of Enhanced Care on May 1, 2021)
Amendments were introduced to the Evidence Act, RSBC 1996, c.124 [EA] which limit the number of experts and expert reports that are used on the issue of damages in most trials, with judicial discretion to allow for additional experts in appropriate cases. The purpose of the amendments is to decrease the cost, complexity, and delay associated with using many experts in a trial. As a result, claims will be resolved more efficiently in court.
- For fast track claims (where the amount sought by the plaintiff is less than $100,000.00), there will be a limit of one expert and one expert report per party, EAA 12.1 (2)(b).
- For claims that are not considered to be fast track claims, there will be a maximum of three experts and expert reports for each party, EAA 12.1 (2)(a).
- Parties involved in the claim can agree to use more experts than the limit if every party to the claim agrees, EAA 12.1 (4)(a)(b).
- EAA 12.1(5) provides judicial discretion to allow for additional experts beyond the limitation for cases where:
- a. The subject matter of additional expert to be tendered has not already been addressed by the other experts. EAA 12.1 (6)(a)
- b. Without the additional expert evidence, the party making the application would suffer prejudice disproportionate to the benefit of not increasing the complexity and cost of the proceeding. EAA 12.1 (6)(b)
- A limit is placed on the maximum amount recoverable from an unsuccessful litigant to $3,000.00 per each expert report in motor vehicle personal injury cases, EAA 12.1 (9)(a)(i)(A). The total recoverable disbursements in motor vehicle personal injury cases will also be limited to 5% of the judgment or settlement, EAA 12.1 (9)(a)(i)(B).
- Disbursements include all expenses used for the purpose of the lawsuit including expenses such as courier fees and photocopying. It will not include fees payable to the Crown such as filing fees, court fees, and jury fees. EAA 12.1 (9)(a)(ii).
- The limitation of the number of experts will not apply if an expert report has been served before February 6, 2020, and the trial date set out in the notice trial is before October 1, 2020, EAA 12.2 (2)(b)
- The $3,000.00 limit to recoverable on expert reports and the 5% limit on disbursements would not apply if the cost for experts has already been incurred prior to February 6, 2020, or a notice of trial has been filed and served prior to February 6, 2020, for a trial before October 1, 2020. EAA 12.2 (3)(b)
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