Defendant Ordered to Pay Costs of $120,000 in Simplified Rules Action

images[1].jpgIn actions brought under simplified procedure (also known as “Rule 76” actions), the plaintiff’s claim is generally limited to a maximum of $50,000. Examinations for discovery and pre-trial cross-examinations aren’t allowed. The whole process is supposed to be streamlined so as to reduce the expense of litigation.

It doesn’t always work out that way. In Inscan Contractors (Ontario) Inc. v. Halton District School Board and Decommissioning Consulting Services Ltd., the plaintiff recovered damages of $50,000 (the maximum) against the defendant Halton. The action was dismissed as against the defendant DCS. But the losing defendant, Halton, was ordered to pay costs that were almost two and a half times the amount of the plaintiff’s claim.

Costs of about $80,000 were ordered in favour of the successful plaintiff. To add insult to injury though, Mr. Justice Siegel made a “Bullock order”. This enabled the plaintiff to recoup from Halton the costs that it was ordered to pay to the defendant DCS (about $41,000).

Interestingly, Justice Siegel mentioned several times, that because this was a Rule 76 action, the parties did not know much about each other’s cases. The clear implication is, that the case was made more expensive by the lack of examinations for discovery. This is probably not what was intended by the Rules Committee in creating “simplified procedure”.

This entry was posted in Costs, Practice and Procedure. Bookmark the permalink.