Does Rule 14-1(9) stipulate that costs must be awarded to the successful party in a proceeding?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Briante v. Vancouver Island Health Authority, 2015 BCSC 807 (CanLII):

As noted, Rule 14-1(9) stipulates that costs must be awarded to the successful party in a proceeding, unless otherwise ordered. That is the usual rule governing costs. Generally, a defendant achieves success where he or she obtains a dismissal of the plaintiff's case, while a plaintiff can be construed as successful where he or she establishes liability under a cause of action and obtains a remedy: see Loft v. Nat, 2014 BCCA 108 at para. 46.

On the present facts, the plaintiffs obtained no remedy and their actions were dismissed. They concede that the defendants succeeded overall at trial, so that the plaintiffs bear the onus of justifying departure from the usual rule on costs. That onus is a substantial one, particularly in circumstances such as these, “a long and expensive trial … where the defendant was successful in defeating the claim on an evidentiary basis”: Gill v. Canada (Minister of Transport), 2014 BCSC 2235 at para. 17.

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