Full Fast Track Costs Awarded in "Simple" Case Settled 7 Months Pre-Trial

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, awarding a plaintiff full fast track costs despite settlement 7 months pre-trial.
In today’s case (Yuan v. Fan) the Plaintiff was involved in a head on collision in 2012.  She sued for damages and fault was admitted.  7 months pre trial the case settled for $48,000 plus costs but the parties could not agree on their assessment with the Defendant arguing that full fast track costs should not be awarded as there was still significant trial prep work needed.  District Registrar Nielsen disagreed and awarded the full costs.  In doing so the Court provided the following reasons:

[9]             The defendants take the view that the plaintiff had significant work left to do in order to be prepared for trial. They submit the plaintiff would have to meet with her experts prior to trial and prepare lists of questions for their witness’s.  I agree.  However, that still begs the question of whether “significant preparation for trial” had taken place in the current circumstances.

[10]         In the present case liability was admitted, therefore work in that regard wasn’t needed. The plaintiff abandoned her claim for wage loss, and therefore, no pre-trial work was necessary in that regard.  Discoveries had been completed, document exchanges had been completed, and medicolegal reports had been obtained. Detailed settlement offers had been exchanged. All that remained to be done was the filing of a trial brief, attending a trial management conference, and immediate trial preparation. Immediate trial preparation is required in each and every case whether settlement occurs two weeks, or two months prior to trial.

[11]         This was not a complex case.  It was a simple case of assessing damages where there wasn’t a wage loss claim.  Simple cases require less work to be ready for trial.  The plaintiff’s case has met the threshold of being significantly prepared for trial in all the circumstances.  I award the full fast track cap.

bc injury law, Master Neilsen, Rule 15, Rule 15-1, Yuan v. Fan

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ERIK
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When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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