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Costs – Modest Judgment

Posted on October 13, 2020 | Posted in Civil Litigation, Five Liners

Brophy v. Harrison 2019 Ont SCJ

The plaintiff, in a personal injury matter, received a net award of $17,000. The defendant claimed that the costs should be based on Small Claims Court costs and that the amount being claimed had to be proportionate to the amount at stake. The judge held that the costs would be regular costs; the plaintiff’s case had merit and her decision to continue to trial was reasonable in the absence of any offers from the defendant. The court also held that declining to make realistic costs awards in modest cases would send a message to litigants that is not worth one’s while to pursue legitimate claims in court because one cannot possibly make it cost-effective to do so. Finally, the defendant could not complain about the quantum because it chose not to submit its own costs outline. The judge awarded $210,000 in costs plus disbursements of $65,000.


Jonathan Speigel


Written by Jonathan Speigel, the founding partner of Speigel Nichols Fox LLP, leads the litigation and construction practices.


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