Rule 9-1 Does Not Allow the Court to Award Double Disbursements
(Update – April 19, 2013 – The below decision should be cross-referenced with reasons for judgement released today (Gonzales v. Voskakis) where Madam Justice Fitzpatrick came to a different conclusion)
Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, confirming that the Court cannot award double disbursements following a trial where a formal settlement offer was bested.
In this week’s case (Moore v. Kyba) the Plaintiff was awarded substantial damages in a jury trial following a motor vehicle collision. The damages awarded exceeded both the Plaintiff’s and Defendant’s pre-trial formal settlement offers. The Plaintiff brought an application seeking double costs and double disbursements. Mr. Justice Brown held that while it was appropriate to award double costs, Rule 9-1 does not go so far as to give the Court authority to award double disbursements. Mr. Justice Brown provided the following reasons:
I am not convinced by the applicant’s argument. The repeal of the definition relied on in Browne v. Lowe is not determinative and does not require its reversal. In any event, I conclude that the proper interpretation of Rule 9-1(5) does not permit the Court to award double disbursements. In Rule 9-1(5)(a), the rule specifically provides for disbursements, while Rule 9-1(5)(b) does not. Therefore, properly interpreted, Rule 9-1(5)(b) does not permit the Court to award double disbursements after the delivery or service of the offer to settle.
bc injury law, disbursements, Moore v. Kyba, Mr. Justice Brown, Rule 9, Rule 9-1, Rule 9-1(5), Rule 9-1(5)(b)
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