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Recoverable disbursements: Can the plaintiff recover courier costs and litigation insurance costs as disbursements?

In the recent case of Wynia v. Soviskov, 2017 BCSC 195 the BC Supreme Court addressed the recoverability of courier costs and litigation insurance as disbursements.

Courier costs
Emphasizing the importance of protecting confidential information, the court held that the use of couriers to deliver confidential medical records is a proper and necessary expense and therefore can be recovered as a disbursement.

Litigation insurance costs
The premiums paid by the plaintiff for adverse costs protection insurance (also known as after-the-event insurance) is not a disbursement that can be recovered under the Supreme Court Civil Rules.

In order to be recoverable, there must be a causal connection between the issues in the case and the expense incurred to prove or disprove them. The disbursements must arise inherently and directly from the issues in the case and must relate to the direction, management or control of litigation used to prove a claim or defence. The insurance obtained by the plaintiff is for the plaintiff’s financial benefit; it does not arise from the exigencies of the proceeding and does not relate to the mechanisms that are used to prove the plaintiff’s case. It is therefore not a recoverable disbursement.

Case law summary by Nazanin Aram