A recent British Columbia Court of Appeal decision (West Van Holdings Ltd. v. Economical Mutual Insurance Company) cited an article written by associate lawyer James Steele.
“Deterrence not damages: the punitive rationale for solicitor-client costs” was published in the January 2018 issue of Canadian Journal of Insurance Law. The reference in the decision to the article appears as:
105 The special nature of insurance contracts however does not justify the creation of a different costs regime governing all insurance claimants. This question was canvassed at some length in a recent article in the Canadian Journal of Insurance Law: James Steele, “Deterrence not Damages: the Punitive Rationale for Solicitor-Client Costs” (2018) 36 Can J Ins L 1. As detailed by Mr. Steele, there is no principled reason why a different scale of costs should apply to insureds who successfully enforce a contractual obligation than any other litigant who is forced to bring an action in order to obtain relief. Many such plaintiffs are surely as sympathetic. Why, for example, should an insured receive a full or near indemnity while the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit finds the award eroded because he or she is only entitled to a partial indemnity.