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Bullock or Sanderson?

Litigation Letter

Bullock or Sanderson?

Moon v Garrett and others [2006] EWCA Civ 1121

Where an action founded in tort against two defendants is successful against one and unsuccessful against the other, there is no hard and fast rule as to when it was appropriate to make a Sanderson or a Bullock order as to costs. A Sanderson (Sanderson v Blyth Theatre Co [1903] 2 KB 533, CA) order requires the unsuccessful defendant to pay the successful defendant’s costs directly. A Bullock (Bullock v London General Omnibus Co [1907] 1 KB 264, CA) order requires the claimant to pay the successful defendant’s costs, permitting the claimant to add those costs to the costs ordered to be paid to him by the unsuccessful defendant. In the present case, the claimant, in the course of delivering concrete blocks to the first defendant’s premises, fell and rolled into a pit. The claimant brought his claim both against the first defendant and his own employers, but only succeeded against the first defendant. In making a Sanderson order, the judge took into account the way in which the first defendant had responded to the claim, both in laying blame on the employers and in making a threat that he was a man of straw. In these circumstances, it would be hard if the claimant ended up paying the costs of the defendant employer against whom he had not succeeded.

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