The Interplay of the Supreme Court and the CRT

Despite the CRT having jurisdiction to resolve a claim, a liability and damages determination may proceed in Supreme Court if all parties consent

Bill 22 provides that if the CRT has jurisdiction over a claim it cannot be brought or continued in Court unless the CRT decides not to issue an Initiating Notice, refuses to resolve the claim as falling outside its authority, or otherwise refuses to resolve the claim.

Despite the CRT having jurisdiction to resolve the claim, a liability and damages determination up to $50,000 may proceed in Supreme Court if all parties consent. Therefore, the parties can consent to Supreme Court as the proper forum for the quantification of damages and/or the determination of liability. If the CRT process becomes backlogged or cumbersome, which is very likely, expect to see ICBC consenting to a Supreme Court action.

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, 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, expect a penalty as limits the amount that would have been allowed in the CRT proceeding.

If a claim is brought in Court that is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the CRT (i.e. benefits or minor injury determinations), the Court must dismiss the proceeding.

If a claim is brought in court that is within the jurisdiction of the CRT and is a claim in respect of which the CRT is considered to have “specialized expertise” (i.e. liability and quantum up to

$50,000), the court must dismiss the proceeding unless it is not in the interests of justice and fairness for the tribunal to adjudicate the claim.

The Court may order the CRT not adjudicate a claim if the CRT does not have jurisdiction or it is not in the interests of justice and fairness for the CRT to decide the claim. However, this does not apply when the CRT has exclusive jurisdiction over the claim (i.e. for benefits and “minor injury” determinations).