ICBC Law

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Formal Offer Delivered 2 Business Days Before Trial Sufficient to Trigger Costs Consequences

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, finding that a formal offer delivered 2 business days prior to trial was sufficient to trigger costs consequences.

In the recent case (Manoharan v. Kaur) the Plaintiff sued for personal injuries and 2 business days prior to trial delivered a formal offer of $425,000.  This was rejected by the Defendant and at trial damages in excess of $900,000 were awarded.  The Defendant argued that double costs should not be awarded because of how late the offer was presented.  In rejecting this argument Mr. Justice Affleck provided the following reasons:

[2]            As would be expected both parties at that time had been actively considering the question of how to evaluate the likely damage award and to assess whether an offer made by the other party ought reasonably to be accepted. The defendant suggests she was pressed for time to respond to the plaintiff’s offer and if double costs are to be awarded they ought not to be assessed from the beginning of the trial.

[3]            In my opinion, the defendant had ample time to respond to the plaintiff’s offer and to consider whether the offer was one which reasonably ought to have been accepted.

[4]            The final judgment awarded exceeded $900,000. I have considered the factors enumerated in Rule 9–1(6) and conclude the plaintiff is entitled to party and party costs on Scale B up to the beginning of the trial and double costs for the trial itself.

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