In Menard v The Centre for International Governance Innovation ( 2019 ONSC 2467 ) Justice Gray noted that the Plaintiff beat two his own Offers to Settle, one of which was made at the beginning of litigation.
The Plaintiff claimed substantial indemnity costs of $217,265 for two lawyers. The Defendant claimed its own substantial indemnity costs were only $120,031.
This wasn’t the sort of case where the judge despised the defendant’s behaviour. In fact this is what the judge had to say about the Plaintiff:
” While I did not find that the plaintiff’s conduct to be sufficient to amount to cause for dismissal withoiut notice, neverthelessI I found that the plaintiff had committed serious misconduct , and wrote a letter before commencing proceedings to an attempt to blackmail the defendant ”
Lessons to be learnt :
- The cost to the defendant of this Trial was as follows:
Judgement of 12 months notice : $175,000
Costs to Plaintiff $175,000
Defence Costs to Own Lawyer $120,000
We don’t know what the plaintiff’s very first offer was but it was less than $175,000. Thus the employer paid at least $300,000 more than it could have if it had settled in the beginning.
2. If the plaintiff makes an early and sensible Rule 49 Offer to Settle, the payoff can be considerable. Making ridiculous offers does not offer that benefit .
So next time you are close to settling a case at mediation and your client says ” Forget it. I am not paying a dime more or I am not giving up a dime off my last offer . Lets go to Court ! ” , show him or her this case.
Plaintiff’s counsel was Andrew Monkhouse and Stephen Le Mesurier of Monkhouse Law.