Assessment of costs in exaggerated claims

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A recent High Court decision in Brit Inns v BDW Trading Ltd considered the circumstances in which a successful claimant would have to pay the majority of the defendant’s costs.

Claimants Brit Inns Limited instructed the defendant company BDW Trading Limited to build a new restaurant, which later flooded as a result of the defendant’s work. The claimants made a subrogated claim against the defendant for £660,000 in respect of insured losses (the main action), and also claimed £522,000 in respect of uninsured losses (the uninsured claim).

The defendant did not dispute liability, but did dispute the level of damages. In the end, the Court awarded the claimants only £157,467 in the main claim; and £16,403 in the uninsured claim – approximately 25% and 3% of the sums claimed respectively…

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