What are the factors that determine whether a plaintiff would have accepted an offer of settlement before the 2013 trial?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Chemainus Park Holdings Ltd. v. Island Timberlands GP Ltd., 2015 BCCA 325 (CanLII):

With respect to costs, he noted that the final outcome of the trial alone was not determinative; rather, the offer must be considered at the time it is made: see Hartshorne v. Hartshorne 2011 BCCA 29 at para. 27. Considering these factors, he noted that: a) the offer was made in mid-2011 well before the 2013 trial; b) the offer was one that would have resolved the need for the trial; c) the offer contained sufficient information to permit the plaintiff to understand the offer; d) the offer would have required the plaintiff to completely accept the defendant’s reasoning; e) the litigation was not protracted; and f) accepting the offer would have effectively ended the dispute between the parties. Another factor is the relationship between the terms of settlement offered in the final judgment of the court, and plainly in that regard, the defendant correctly forecast the outcome. [At paras. 40-1.] Finally, he noted that the case was a commercial one and “not one where a personal litigant would be faced with an award of costs that eviscerated an award of damages.” (Para. 43.)

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