"It Is No Impediment That The Offer Was Withdrawn" In Triggering Costs Consequences
Last month I discussed the fact that withdrawn formal settlement offers are capable of triggering costs consequences. Reasons for judgement were released recently confirming this fact and awarding a Plaintiff double costs after besting a formal settlement offer which was withdrawn in the course of trial.
In the recent case (Pitts v. Martin) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2008 collision. The injuries included chronic soft tissue injuries and post traumatic stress which limited the Plaintiff in physical tasks.
Prior to trial she provided a formal settlement offer of $100,000. During the course of the trial the Plaintiff withdrew her formal offer. The trial judgement exceeded her offer by $7,500. The Plaintiff asked for double costs. The defendant objected arguing a withdrawn offer could not trigger costs consequences. Mr. Justice Dley disagreed and awarded double costs. In doing so the Court provided the following reasons:
 …I am satisfied that in a case like this, an offer made on May 15th would have given the defendant sufficient time to make a reasoned analysis and respond in a timely fashion. It is not an offer that was made on the eve of the trial commencing, without an opportunity to have it fully considered. It is no impediment that the offer was withdrawn at the close the the Plaintiff’s case. I am satisfied that this is an appropriate case for double costs following the offer…
To my knowledge this judgement is not publicly available. As always, I’m happy to provide a copy to anyone who contacts me and requests one.