FFS HK Ltd v. P.T. 25 (Ship)

In Admiralty Practice on (Updated )

In this matter the plaintiff was successful at trial in that it obtained an order that the defendant
was 50% at fault for a pollution incident. The plaintiff now sought to recover its costs. The
plaintiff was awarded special costs and 100% of its costs and disbursements. Special costs were
awarded primarily because the defendant advanced evidence of a witness which the Court
found it should have known was manifestly unreliable. This conduct was compounded by a baseless claim for privilege. Regarding the percentage of costs that should be paid, the
defendant argued that pursuant to s. 3(1) of the Negligence Act of British Columbia the plaintiff
was only entitled to 50% of its costs since liability was apportioned 50-50. But, the Court held
the claim was governed by maritime law and not the Negligence Act. The Court further noted
that it had broad discretion with respect to costs, that the plaintiff had acted reasonably in
accepting partial responsibility for the spill and that the defendant had acted unreasonably.
Accordingly, in the exercise of her discretion, the Judge ordered the defendant to pay 100% of
the plaintiff’s costs.