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.