1490703 ALBERTA LTD v CHAHAL, 2021 ABQB 853


1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
4.29: Costs consequences of formal offer to settle
10.2: Payment for lawyer’s services and contents of lawyer’s account
10.29: General rule for payment of litigation costs
10.31: Court-ordered costs award
10.33: Court considerations in making costs award

Case Summary

The Plaintiff previously applied for Summary Judgment against a selection of the Defendants. Those Defendants cross-applied for Summary Dismissal. The Master denied the Plaintiff’s Application and granted the Application for Summary Dismissal. Justice Malik previously dismissed the Plaintiff’s Appeal of the Master’s decision. This was a decision regarding Costs arising from the Appeal.

The Plaintiff argued that it should not be responsible for any Costs, as an award of Costs would be contrary to the purposes of the Rules in that it would discourage litigants from asserting their rights. Justice Malik disagreed, citing Rule 1.2 to state that the Rules are in fact designed to facilitate quick resolution of Claims and to encourage Parties to resolve Claims on their own. Justice Malik further stated that the matter at issue was a straightforward limitations question, and that there was therefore no public interest in the litigation that would weigh against a Costs Award.

Justice Malik therefore considered the appropriate Costs Award.

The Defendants had made a Formal Offer prior to the Appeal and therefore asserted that they are entitled to double Costs pursuant to Rule 4.29. Justice Malik considered Rule 10.29, which states the general rule that a successful party is entitled to Costs, and Rule 10.33, which sets out factors the Court may consider in awarding Costs. Justice Malik stated that the analysis then turns to Rule 10.31 which grants the Court broad discretion to craft a Costs Award that is reasonable and proper in the circumstances. Justice Malik also relied on Rule 10.2 in considering what legal costs are reasonable.

Having regard to the above, Justice Malik granted the Defendants 50% of their actual incurred expenses, and further doubled that amount on the basis of Rule 4.29.

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