Regular readers of this blog will know that I often comment on costs awards in wrongful dismissal cases .
Have I got a doozy for you.
At the trial decision of Doyle v Zochem ( 2016 CarswellOnt 3188), the plaintiff was awarded 10 months salary, human rights damages of $25,000 and moral damages of $60,000 for a total before costs of about $140,000.
The defendant made a number of Rule 49 offers, the last one being for $133,196.23.
Thus the defendant missed the mark by $7,653.
In a cost award found at 2017 CarswellOnt 1335, Judge Trimble awarded the plaintiff costs of approximately $412,000.
The Defendant appealed but was only looking for a reduction in the moral damages award from $60,000 to a more modest $20,000.
Why spend more money on this appeal to save a lousy $40,000?
ANSWER: If the Court of Appeal had reduced the moral damages by at least $7654, the Defendants Rule 49 offer would have been operative and not only would they not have to pay the plaintiff anything for the actual trial ( 28 days ) but they would have received an offset for their trial costs, which would have wiped out the judgement and the Plaintiff would have owed the defendant a fortune .
Alas, the Court of Appeal denied the appeal and ordered further costs of the appeal of $40,000.
According to the public record this little fiasco has cost the Defendant the following sums:
Judgement : $140,000
Costs to the Plaintiff for trial : $412,000
Costs to the Plaintiff for appeal: $40,000
Their own costs of trial : $682,415
Their costs of appeal ( my est.) $40,000
TOTAL : $ 1,314,415.
You gotta love our legal system.