The CRT is considered to have “specialized expertise” for liability and damages if the claim is likely under $50,000
Starting for accidents on or after April 1, 2019, the most notable change through Bill 22 is that it adds Part 10 (Tribunal Jurisdiction) to the CRT Act and under Division 7, has added Accident Claims.
The CRT now has jurisdiction over accident claims concerning:
- Benefits paid or payable;
- Minor injury determinations; and
- Liability and damage determinations if the claim is under $50,000.
Of the above list, the CRT has “exclusive jurisdiction” for benefits paid or payable and for minor injury determinations. The CRT is considered to have “specialized expertise” for liability and damages if the claim is likely under $50,000.
It is presumed the claim will fall within the $50,000 monetary limit “unless a party establishes on the basis of satisfactory evidence that there is a substantial likelihood that the damages will exceed the tribunal limit amount”. In other words, the claimant bears the burden of showing that the claim is more than $50,000 so cases are deemed to be within the CRT jurisdiction unless proven otherwise.
If the claimant can prove the case is likely more than $50,000, a request can be made to continue the case in the Supreme Court. However, a note of caution. If the case does proceed to the Supreme Court on liability and damages and the settlement or award is less than the CRT’s monetary limit, then costs and disbursements are limited to an amount that would have been allowed in the CRT proceeding (maximum of $5,000)
Interestingly, even if the case appears to be more than $50,000, the CRT case manager, during the case management phase, may, if requested by all parties, provide to the parties a non-binding evaluation of the likely amount of damages. This amount may not be disclosed to the Court or the Tribunal.
Note that the CRT does not have jurisdiction in relation to claims under the Family Compensation Act in respect of a death or claims under the Arbitration Act such as under insured motorist (UMP) claims.