Plaintiff Loses 8 Day Trial and Pays $120,000 in Costs to Defendant :

In Park v. Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.( 2023 ONSC 18850 ) Justice Robyn M. Ryan Bell awarded Costco costs of $120,000 in regards to a 8 day trial with written closing arguments .

This was an action from 2015 when there was no restriction on costs.

Had this action been commenced today and had the Plaintiff limited his claim to under $200,000 ,and therefore proceeded as a Simplified Procedure under Rule 76, the maximum cost award would have been $50,000 and up to $25,000 for disbursements. In most wrongful dismissal actions, disbursements are minimal.

Moreover, under Rule 76.13 (3) if the Plaintiff starts an ordinary action but recovers less than $200,000 they run a real risk that they get no cost award at all.

The lesson to plaintiffs is clear.

Unless you have a really good shot at getting an award in excess of $200,000 , do not use the ordinary procedure but rather use the Simplified Procedure. So if your notice claim alone is worth less than $200,000 but you are tempted to add a punitive damage claim for $500,000 to scare the Defendant, think twice about it.

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