This order for costs in a personal injury action follows the decision in Jack v. Tekavec, 2010 BCSC 1773, finding a landlord at fault for a faulty balcony railing causing serious injuries to the claimant. The trial judge awarded damages of $322,463.78. The claimant delivered an offer to settle the lawsuit to the landlord’s lawyer long before the trial in the amount of $300,000 plus assessable costs and disbursements.
The injury claimant’s positions was that the offer to settle ought reasonably to have been accepted when made, that at trial he beat the offer, and that the other circumstances militated in favour of an award of double costs. The landlord appears not to have paid attention to the lawsuit as he should, and as the judge pointed out, “ his response to offer a “six pack” at a trial management conference is indicative of that.”
The form of the offer was quite straightforward:
“At this time we offer to settle Eddie’s claims for $300,000 plus assessable costs and disbursements. The Plaintiff, Eddie Jack Jr., reserves the right to bring this offer to the attention of the court for consideration in relation to costs after the court has rendered judgment on all other issues in this proceeding.”
The last sentence of the offer to settle was in accordance with the form required by Rule 9-1(1) of the BC Rules of Court.
The court found the offer to settle clear and not equivocal. It was fully descriptive of the injury claimant’s case and the claims made. The claimant did considerably better than the offer to settle which the judge found to be a , “a reasonable offer“.
The claimant won his personal injury claim and was awarded double his costs against the at fault landlord. Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness