BCLI Recommends Reforms to Encourage Settlements of Complex Litigation

17 December 2013

By Elizabeth Pinsent

Vancouver, 17 December 2013—In a report published today the British Columbia Law Institute is calling for legislation that will improve the civil-justice system by removing a roadblock to settling complex, multiparty litigation.

“When a person suffers damages or a monetary loss at the hands of more than one wrongdoer, often the quickest and simplest way to deal with the dispute is to settle with some of the wrongdoers,” explained BCLI chair Tino Di Bella. “But the way the law is being applied in BC creates disincentives to these partial settlements, by depriving the settling wrongdoers of the finality traditionally found in a settlement agreement.”

The report, entitled Report on Contribution after Settlement under the Negligence Act, recommends that the legislature amend the Negligence Act to clarify that statutory rights to contribution and indemnity among wrongdoers do not take precedence over settlement agreements. Noted Mr. Di Bella: “Enacting these reforms will improve the civil-justice system for litigants, by giving them an exit from protracted, complex litigation, and British Columbians generally, by freeing up scarce and valuable judicial resources.”

Copies of the report and backgrounders summarizing its contents and recommended reforms are all freely available for downloading at www.bcli.org.

The British Columbia Law Institute strives to be a leader in law reform by carrying out the best in scholarly law-reform research and writing and the best in outreach relating to law reform.


Contact: Kevin Zakreski
Staff Lawyer
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