In a recent decision by Dedar Singh Gill J, the Judge gave a caution to litigants and their lawyers against pleading causes of action (COA) or claims which are superfluous.
The Judge observed that parties are free to run their cases as they wish, and that it may be strategic to plead multiple COA in respect of the same facts because certain COA may fail and the remedies may differ.
However, if any COA is superfluous as was the case with the unlawful conspiracy claim vis-a-vis passing off in this matter, then it will waste judicial resources and time, distract parties from the true disputes and affect the ultimate costs orders.
In this case, the plaintiffs’ claim in conspiracy was entirely premised on the passing off claim, and there was no additional or different remedy possibly available for that. As such, it was superfluous. The Judge thus sounded a warning in this regard and observed that he would take this into account in determining costs.
Litigation lawyers should thus be mindful about being focussed and strategic in pleading claims and COA, not throwing in the whole kitchen sink, bearing in mind the potential adverse cost consequences.