M.O. and Unifund Assurance Co.
May 15, 2017
Adjudicated by Anna Truong
The Respondent brought forth a Costs Motion at the Case Conference. The Applicant was denied benefits and filed an application to the LAT. At the Case Conference, the Applicant withdrew her application due to an issue raised by the Respondent for a non-attendance at an insurer examination. The Applicant agreed to attend a re-scheduled IE examination and re-submitted an LAT application with only one issue in dispute that was also in the first application. By the second Case Conference, the Applicant failed to attend another insurer examination and withdrew her application again. This time, the Respondent requested costs.
Rule 19.1 is a high bar for conduct to attract a costs award, and an exceptional remedy. In this case, Ms. Truong found that the bar was met. This was an abuse of process and it undermines the Tribunal’s purpose to provide efficient and effective dispute resolution.
Given that the issue in dispute in the second application was included in the first application, the greatest expenditure the Respondent incurred in defending the second application would be the time spent attending and preparing for the second Case Conference. The adjudicator decided costs awarded should be nominal given that the Respondent had already defended the same issue.