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November 28, 2012

Costs on a Summary Judgment Motion

In Mo v. Johnson, the defendant successfully moved for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff's claim.  Justice Morgan's decision on costs is reported at 2012 ONSC 6307 (CanLii)

One of the arguments made by the plaintiff was that the defendant was only entitled to costs of the motion, not the entire action.  Justice Morgan disagreed, holding that:

[24]      I agree with Mr. Bizezinski that where summary judgment dismisses the action, it is the costs of the action in its entirety that are at issue. To hold otherwise would allow a party who brings spurious litigation to cause the opposing side to incur substantial costs with no means of compensation. 

The defendant was awarded costs of the entire action on a substantial indemnity basis due to the plaintiff's conduct, which was described as "aggressive and high-handed".  The decision is a nice synopsis of some of the basic principles relating to costs. 

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