Registrar declines to reimburse plaintiff for cost of “Litigation Insurance”

In reasons for judgment released today, the District Registrar in Wynia v. Soviskov, 2017 BCSC 195, considered the novel issue of whether a defendant is liable to pay to the successful plaintiff the cost of a “litigation insurance” policy purchased to protect the plaintiff from having to pay the defendant’s costs and disbursements in the event the plaintiff were to lose at trial.  In finding that “litigation insurance” is not a recoverable disbursement, District Registrar Nielsen wrote as follows:

[4]             The plaintiff has raised the novel issue of whether the cost of an insurance policy obtained by the plaintiff to insure against own disbursements, and opponents' costs and disbursements, in a lost or abandoned court case, is a recoverable disbursement pursuant to SCCR 14-1 (5). 

[5]             The defendants object to this particular disbursement...

[6]             In British Columbia, to be recoverable as a disbursement SCCR 14-1(5) provides that the disbursement must have been necessarily or properly incurred in the conduct of the proceeding...

...

[7]             In my view...the cost of insurance coverage is not a proper or necessary disbursement incurred in the conduct of the proceeding. No doubt it provides a measure of financial comfort to the plaintiff, however, it does not arise from the exigencies of the proceeding and relate directly to the direction, management, or control of the litigation used to prove a claim against the defendants. Accordingly, the cost of the insurance coverage is disallowed.

The text of the full decision can be found here:  http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/sc/17/01/2017BCSC0195.htm

 

Plaintiff denied reimbursement for private MRI where "publicly funded option was available"

In reasons for judgment released earlier this year, the court in Scelsa v. Taylor, 2016 BCSC 1122 denied the plaintiff reimbursement of the $800.00 cost of an MRI.  There was no dispute that the MRI was necessary, but the court held that the defendant should not pay the cost because  "a publicly funded option was available" and the plaintiff had not demonstrated that the need for the MRI was "urgent".  The court said:

[237]     The defendants have agreed to pay special damages of $6,002.60,
excluding only $800 claimed for a private MRI...The plaintiff failed to show an urgent need to obtain a private MRI when a publically funded option was available... Accordingly, the plaintiff is awarded special damages of $6,002.

The full text of the decision can be found here: http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2016/2016bcsc1122/2016bcsc1122.html?resultIndex=1

 

Court finds that $22,000 Cost for Expert Report was "Reasonable"

In the recent decision of Bokova v. Gertsoyg & Company, 2016 BCSC 2297, the court found that the $21,984.48 cost for an expert report of a Physiatrist was a “reasonably necessary and proper” disbursement.  The court said:

[5]             On this review, the client challenges both the fees charged and the disbursements claimed. The client is particularly distressed by the costs of a physiatrist’s report by Dr. Michael Vondette, which totalled $21,984.48, and with the contents of that report. The contingency agreement itself is not challenged.

[37]         The client had the option of having the cost of Dr. Vondette’s report assessed before a registrar pursuant to Supreme Court Civil Rule 14-1(5), but chose to accept the defendant’s partial offer towards the disbursements incurred. That was her choice. However, it does not bind the lawyer. Within this proceeding, the appropriateness of the cost of Dr. Vondette’s report must be reviewed pursuant to the provisions of the LPA. I find the lawyer’s disbursements, including the report of Dr. Vondette, to have been authorized, reasonably necessary and proper to the conduct of the proceeding to which they relate in accordance with s. 71(2) (a) and (b) of the LPA. Accordingly, the lawyer’s disbursements, including the report of Dr. Vondette, are allowed in full.

The full text of the decision can be found here: http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2016/2016bcsc2297/2016bcsc2297.html?resultIndex=1