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Successful medical negligence plaintiff entitled to 80% of her legal costs

By: Ian Fitzharris BL

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High Court, following successful medical negligence proceedings, decides issue of legal costs and awards the successful plaintiff 80% of her legal costs in circumstances where she succeeded on one of the two allegations of negligence, the court being satisfied that the hearing of the action was prolonged to some extent by an investigation into the unsuccessful claim in negligence, but that the plaintiff had not unnecessarily prolonged the action in an unreasonable or unmerited way.

Costs of legal proceedings - medical negligence action - general rule as to costs - plaintiff successful on one of two grounds in negligence - period spent dealing with unsuccessful claim during trial - whether costs should be set off - legal principles to be applied in awarding costs in personal injury and other actions - discretionary - costs follow event - prima face entitlement of successful party - complexity of litigation - Order 99 RSC - expert evidence had to be given again during hearing by virtue of defendant's own conduct during trial - defendant not put to any appreciable additional expense in terms of number of witnesses to give evidence - hearing prolonged because of investigation of unsuccessful claim in negligence of one of the two issues litigated - plaintiff to recover 80% of costs.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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