ICBC apologizes to crash victim in class-action lawsuit

ICBC has apologized to one of the representative plaintiffs involved in a $900-million class-action lawsuit filed against the auto insurer.

In March 2020, a lawsuit filed by representative plaintiffs Brayden Methot and Robert Rorison alleged that the B.C. government had engaged in an illegal scheme to divert hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars, resulting in losses to benefits for accident victims and driving up insurance rates for B.C. drivers.

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Methot, the plaintiff for the accident victim class, was left a quadriplegic after being injured in a motor vehicle accident on June 9, 2014, near Kamloops. He was a passenger in a vehicle that crossed the centre line and struck an oncoming vehicle.

Methot, who was 24 years old at the time of the collision that left him unable to work and in need of care, became eligible to receive accident benefits, and did receive benefits, as a result of the accident.

But in April 2015, ICBC advised him through his lawyer that his accident benefit fund had been depleted after having reached the maximum expenditure of $150,000. He later learned, however, that ICBC had diverted the sum of $3,709 to the Medical Services Plan for his physician visits instead of paying the money to him.

After the filing of the class action suit, which alleges that the provincial government ­routinely raided ICBC’s budget for its own benefit by using ICBC funds to pay for things that ICBC should not have paid for, ICBC sent a letter to ­Methot’s lawyer, Scott Stanley, apologizing that Methot’s ­benefits had not been exhausted in April 2015.

The letter from an ICBC lawyer admitted that, in error, ICBC had included the payments to the medical practitioners totalling $3,709.

“ICBC apologizes to Mr. Methot for the error in calculating his requested lump sum payout,” says the letter.

ICBC sent him a cheque for the $3,709 but Methot, who intends to proceed with his lawsuit, has not cashed the cheque, according to an affidavit filed by the Williams Lake man.

Court documents filed since the lawsuit began last year also indicate that ICBC is reviewing more than 500 accident benefit files similar in nature to that of Methot to see whether ICBC owes money to any of those claimants.

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