An Example of the Hefty Price of "Loser Pays"
As previously discussed, the BC Supreme Court operates on a “loser pays” system typically requiring a losing litigant to pay the winner’s costs and disbursements. This reality goes a long way towards discouraging frivolous lawsuits and encouraging pre-trial settlement. The Loser Pays system can create hefty consequences as was demonstrated in reasons for judgement released this week by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry.
In this week’s case (Pearlman v. Critchley) the Plaintiff was involved in litigation with a “lengthy and tortuous history“. His various claims had been “in one form or another, dismissed at the trial level” and the Court went further declaring that the Plaintiff was a vexatious litigant.
The Plaintiff was ordered to pay special costs after having his claims dismissed. Today’s case dealt with assessing these and ultimately Registrar Sainty ordered that the Plaintiff pay costs of $42,977 providing an expensive lesson of BC’s loser pays system in action.