BOWNESS REAL ESTATE CORP v AXA INSURANCE COMPANY, 2020 ABQB 379
10.29: General rule for payment of litigation costs
10.31: Court-ordered costs award
10.33: Court considerations in making costs award
Previously, Madam Justice Ho had issued a Decision in favour of the Plaintiff, namely that the Plaintiff was entitled to insurance coverage which had previously been denied. The award in the Decision was a small fraction of the entire amount claimed by the Plaintiff. Subsequently, the parties could not come to an agreement on Costs, and came back before Justice Ho.
Madam Justice Ho reviewed the relevant Rules prior to making her Decision on Costs. Rule 10.29 states that the successful party is entitled to a Costs Award against the unsuccessful party. Rule 10.31 states that the Court may order one party to pay the reasonable and proper Costs incurred or an amount that the Court considers appropriate, including full indemnity Costs or lump sum Costs. Rule 10.33 sets out the factors which the Court should consider when making a Costs Award.
Both the Plaintiff and the Defendant argued that they were entitled to Costs. Madame Justice Ho rejected the Defendant’s argument that it was entitled to solicitor-client Costs based on allegations of bad faith made against it by the Plaintiff.
Justice Ho noted that Rule 10.33 allows the Court to consider unnecessary conduct which lengthens or delays proceedings, and Justice Ho made a downwards adjustment against the Plaintiff’s assessed Costs. The Plaintiff’s bad faith allegations against the Defendant made the Trial more complicated and longer than necessary. Ultimately, Madame Justice Ho awarded the Plaintiff $100,000 in Costs, which was less than what the Plaintiff sought in its Bill of Costs.View CanLII Details