West Law Report

Full costs are payable on apportioned liability

Posted in Times Law Report by mrkooenglish on October 28, 2008

From The Times
October 20, 2008
Full costs are payable on apportioned liability

Queen’s Bench Division
Published October 20, 2008
Krysia Maritime Inc v Intership Ltd

There was no rule in the Admiralty Court that, where there was no counterclaim, a claimant found partially at fault should recover only a proportion of its costs according to the percentage of liability of the defendant.

Mr Justice Aikens so stated on August 1, 2008, in the Admiralty Court of the Queen’s Bench Division, when making a costs order in favour of Krysia Maritime Inc following its damages claim against Intership Ltd.

The propeller of Krysia, a fast support and intervention vessel, was fouled by a rope attached to a dumb barge, Europa, owned by Intership Ltd. His Lordship had earlier held that the fouling was caused by negligent management of Europa but also by the faulty navigation of Krysia and apportioned liability at 70 to 30 per cent.

HIS LORDSHIP said that the claimant was the party which won at trial, therefore rule 44.3(2)(a) of the Civil Procedure Rules applied unless there was good reason for it not to do so.

There was no rule applicable to collision, or analogous cases, in the Admiralty Court, where there was no counterclaim, that a claimant found at fault under section 187 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 should recover costs in proportion to the percentage of liability of the defendant.

The fact that the claimant recovered 70 per cent of its claim because it was 30 per cent to blame was not sufficient reason within rule 44.3(4)(b) or otherwise to reduce the costs.

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