Plaintiff awarded full fast-track costs for "simple case" which settled seven months before trial

In reasons released today, the Registrar in Yuan v. Fan, 2017 BCSC 147 awarded the plaintiff full 15-1  fast-track costs of $6,500 even though the file settled roughly seven months prior to trial, and despite the fact that the defendant had not been discovered and liability had been admitted.  Additionally, there was no wage loss claim being advanced and the plaintiff had only obtained two medical-legal reports at the time of settlement.  In dismissing the defence arguments that the plaintiff should be awarded less than the $6,500 cap, Registrar Nielsen wrote as follows:

[6]             The plaintiff seeks the full fast track costs of $6,500...

...

[9]             The defendants take the view that the plaintiff had significant work left to do in order to be prepared for trial. They submit the plaintiff would have to meet with her experts prior to trial and prepare lists of questions for their witness’s.  I agree.  However, that still begs the question of whether “significant preparation for trial” had taken place in the current circumstances.

[10]         In the present case liability was admitted, therefore work in that regard wasn’t needed. The plaintiff abandoned her claim for wage loss, and therefore, no pre-trial work was necessary in that regard.  Discoveries had been completed, document exchanges had been completed, and medicolegal reports had been obtained. Detailed settlement offers had been exchanged. All that remained to be done was the filing of a trial brief, attending a trial management conference, and immediate trial preparation. Immediate trial preparation is required in each and every case whether settlement occurs two weeks, or two months prior to trial.

[11]         This was not a complex case.  It was a simple case of assessing damages where there wasn’t a wage loss claim.  Simple cases require less work to be ready for trial.  The plaintiff's case has met the threshold of being significantly prepared for trial in all the circumstances.  I award the full fast track cap.

The full text of the decision can be found here: http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/sc/17/01/2017BCSC0147.htm