Plaintiff costs

Plaintiff costs are the legal costs for the person who has brought the action against the medical practitioner.

Costs include disbursements and expenses incurred in the legal work for the plaintiff.

Plaintiff costs should appear on the Medical Indemnity payment application if:

  • the judgment does not award the full costs to the plaintiff, or
  • they form part of a settlement

If the judgment or settlement doesn’t include plaintiff costs you need to show these costs separately.

The parties involved can negotiate who pays plaintiff costs. If this is the case, there needs to be evidence identifying negotiations between legal firms and/or the insurer.

If a case is made in favour of a defendant, the plaintiff can get a judgment for payment of the defendant’s defence costs.

If this happens, the plaintiff has to pay:

  • their own costs, and
  • the defendant’s costs, which in most cases will be owed to the insurer

If the defence costs are large the insurer can decide not to pursue payment of the funds from the plaintiff. This falls under the term ordinary course of business.

Page last updated: 22 February 2019

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