"Compelling Facts and Circumstances" Required to Depart from Rule 15 Pre-Trial Settlement Cap
Further to my previous posts on this topic, reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, confirming that when a Rule 15 matter settles pre-trial and the settlement agreement incorporates costs, these should be assessed at $6,500 unless there are compelling facts and¬†circumstances.
In the recent case (Ostadsaraie v. Shokri) the Plaintiff settled his claim 55 days prior to the scheduled trial and also prior to his Trial Management Conference. ¬† The Plaintiff sought $6,500 in costs and Registrar Cameron agreed this amount was¬†appropriate¬† ¬†After canvassing the relevant authorities the Court provided the following reasons:
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†In this case, Ms¬†Neathway had done a substantial amount of preparation and delivered a settlement offer that resulted in a settlement of the case some 55 days before trial. There was a housekeeping matter left to be done, a trial management conference ‚Äď but given the settlement, it did not occur.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Ms¬†Neathway had delivered all of her expert reports and had prepared and completed all of the discovery in readiness for trial. She was frank to say that she would have needed to interview again one or more of the witnesses that would be called at trial and of course complete the final preparations for her client to give his evidence at trial. Nonetheless, a substantial amount of the preparation had in fact been completed by the time the settlement was made and in the circumstances it is appropriate to award the plaintiff the full amount of the cap…