Large Cost Award Declared Proportional
The Ontario Superior Court upheld an unusually high amount in costs in a defamation case under the simplified Rules of Civil Procedure. An assessment officer awarded the plaintiff with $92,900 in costs. In Moberg v. Patafie, the Court allowed the cost award to stand even though the plaintiff was not seeking a monetary award against the defendant. The Court found that the assessment award was proportional under the simplified rules because the principle of proportionality under the simplified rules should not be applied rigidly.
Justice Roccamo found that the assessment officer considered the conduct of the defendant that lengthened the proceeding, including a lack of co-operation with the plaintiff to simplify the action and contain the costs. The case is noteworthy because it shows that it is possible to get substantial costs awarded under the simplified rules in certain circumstances, particularly when there is evidence that one party made efforts to unnecessarily prolong the proceedings.
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