Woman to Pay Costs of High Court Hearing despite Winning her Claim
A High Court judge has imposed sanctions on the recovery of legal costs due to a successful plaintiff, meaning that the woman will have to pay some of the costs of her High Court hearing herself.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine announced the sanctions after reviewing the case of Madeline Wright v. the Health Service Executive and the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, which was heard in the High Court during May and June earlier this year.
Although the claim was successful – and the plaintiff awarded compensation for an avoidable delay in treatment – the judge was of the opinion that only 20% of the evidence presented in court related to the act of negligence for which Madeline was ultimately compensated.
Therefore, in a departure from the normal legal principal of “costs follow the event”, Ms Justice Mary Irvine – the judge who heard the original case – has penalised Madeline for attaching allegations to a genuine claim which could not be substantiated in court.
The judge said “Just because a plaintiff has one good point they should not, to my mind, be permitted to litigate a myriad of others and have the court make an order requiring the successful defendant on such issues to pay for that luxury.”
Despite admitting that she was tempted to allow just 20% of the costs of a High Court hearing, the judge acknowledged that the case was complex and it would be harsh to deliver such a stiff sanction when there was no precedent in this type of litigation
Ms Justice Mary Irvine subsequently sanctioned 35% of Madeline Wright´s costs of a High Court hearing, meaning that the successful plaintiff will have to pay the outstanding amount from her medical negligence compensation settlement.