Civil Practice and Procedure - Costs - Persons entitled to or liable for costs
Father suffered catastrophic brain injury in 2011 and sons were appointed guardians of personal care and property. Father entered into marriage with KW days after being released from hospital, and on sons' application marriage was declared void ab initio and father was found to be sole owner of property. Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) funded KW's litigation, and court found KW's claims to be without merit. Costs were assessed at $385,279.54 on full recovery basis. Application judge found that LAO knew father was vulnerable person and failed to properly monitor proceedings which constituted abuse of process. LAO was ordered to pay $192,639.77, which was 50 percent of full indemnity costs. Application judge refused to reopen evidence and vary costs award. LAO appealed. Appeal allowed. Application judge misconstrued role of LAO. Absent evidence of bad faith or improper purpose, LAO's conduct in funding litigation pursuant to statute did not support finding of abuse of process. Finding of abuse of process was not available on evidence. Findings against LAO were inconsistent with findings in favour of LAO funded lawyer. Costs order was set aside.
Hunt v. Worrod (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 10241, 2019 ONCA 540, Robert J. Sharpe J.A., S.E. Pepall J.A., and L.B. Roberts J.A. (Ont. C.A.); varied (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 6265, 2018 ONSC 2133, Koke J. (Ont. S.C.J.). (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 8652, 2018 ONSC 3093, Koke J. (Ont. S.C.J.).
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