4.29: Costs consequences of formal offer to settle
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

This Application related to Costs payable when the Plaintiff succeeded against one of multiple Defendants. The first issue was whether the Plaintiff was entitled to Double Costs pursuant to Rule 4.29. The Plaintiff had issued a Formal Offer against all of the Defendants. At Trial, the Plaintiff was successful against only one of the Defendants, however the Judgment against that Defendant had exceeded the amount of the Formal Offer. The Defendant argued that the Formal Offer could not have been accepted by one of the Defendants alone.

Lee J. indicated that the intention of the Double Costs Rule is to reduce claims and increase the possibility of settlement. Lee J. decided that the Defendant who was found liable in this case had a legal obligation to indemnify the other Defendants pursuant to a contract. Since only one Defendant was financially at risk, and the Formal Offer was less than the amount awarded against that Defendant, it was required to pay Double Costs to the Plaintiff. It did not make a difference that the Offer was addressed to all of the Defendants.

The second issue was whether the successful Defendants were entitled to Costs from the Plaintiff or whether the unsuccessful Defendant was required to pay those Costs. Lee J. determined that the Plaintiff was responsible for the Costs of the successful Defendants for those days on which the successful Defendants testified in addition to all Pre-Trial matters calculated at 50% of the party and party amount.

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