Fast Track Costs Apply Despite 4 Day Trial
As previously discussed, Rule 15 is applicable to BC Supreme Court injury trials with a quantum of less than $100,000 or to trials that can be completed in three days or less. ¬† This week reasons for judgement were published by the BC Supreme Court, Vernon Registry, addressing what costs flow following a Rule 15 trial which exceeds three days.
In this week’s case (Travelbea v. Henrie) the Plaintiff was injured in a collision. ¬†Following a four day trial which was prosecuted under Rule 15 damages of just over $68,000 and costs were awarded. ¬†The Plaintiff sought costs under the Tarriff and the Defendant argued that the capped costs of Rule 15¬†should¬†apply. ¬†Mr. Justice Barrow agreed with the Defendant and noted that there is nothing sufficient in a trial exceeding three days to depart from Rule 15 costs. ¬†The court provided the following reasons:
6]¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†In general, the case was conducted in accordance with the parameters set by Rule 15-1. The plaintiff did not conduct an examination for discovery of the defendant. The defendant’s examination for discovery of the plaintiff was completed within two hours. There were no interlocutory applications by either party. The only substantive exception to the limitations imposed by the fast-track regime is that the trial spanned four days…
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†The only aspect of this case to which the plaintiff points by way of special circumstance is that the trial was set for four days and, in fact, took almost four days to be heard. I am not persuaded that the circumstance is sufficient to justify otherwise ordering. First, when the notice of trial was filed indicating that four days would be necessary, the plaintiff was content that the matter should remain in the fast-track regime. That is apparent by virtue of the endorsement on the notice and the fact that no application to the court or request to the defendant was made seeking to remove the case from the regime. Second, although the trial took more than three days, it took only marginally more, less than half a day.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I acknowledge the plaintiff’s submission that the case may have taken much longer had counsel not dealt with the matter so efficiently and co-operatively. To accede to that submission would be, in effect, to sanction a party for doing that which the¬†Rules¬†are intended to promote, namely, to conduct trials in an expedient and efficient way.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†In the result, I am satisfied that the lump sum costs provided for in Rule 15 ought to be imposed in this case, and I order that the plaintiff is entitled to costs under Rule 15-1(15)(c) in the amount of $11,000.