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Sanderson and Bullock Orders

In normal circumstances, the Plaintiff is entitled to costs against the unsuccessful Defendant and the successful Defendant is entitled to costs against the Plaintiff.  However, in some situations, this may lead to an unjust result.  Sanderson and Bullock Orders developed as a matter of equity in Chancery in order to alleviate that injustice (Moore (Litigation Guardian of) v. Wienecke 2008 CarswellOnt 1185at para 38).  The difference between the two types of orders is whether the unsuccessful Defendant reimburses the Plaintiff for the successful Defendant’s costs (a Bullock Order) or whether the unsuccessful Defendant pays the successful Defendant’s costs directly (a Sanderson Order) (Rowe v. Investors Syndicate Ltd. 1984 CarswellOnt 469 at para 26). If there is no indication that an unsuccessful Defendant would be unable to pay, a Sanderson Order is usually granted.

In Moore, the Court outlined the two-part test for determining whether a Sanderson order is appropriate:

  1. First, courts ask a threshold question: whether it was reasonable to join the several defendants together in one action
  2. If the answer to that threshold question is Yes, the courts must use their discretion to determine whether a Sanderson order would be just and fair in the circumstances.

With respect to the second part of the test, the factors relevant to whether the Court will exercise its discretion are:

  1. Whether the Defendants tried to shift responsibility onto each other, as opposed to concentrating on meeting the Plaintiff’s case
  2. Whether the unsuccessful Defendant caused the successful Defendant to be added as a party
  3. Whether the two causes of action were independent of each other
  4. Ability to pay

At Himelfarb Proszanski, we are always on top of the law and ensure that our clients maximize their settlements; this is just part of the Himelfarb Proszanski Advantage™.


For assistance with a personal injury and/or insurance claim, please email David Himelfarb at or call 1-855-446-7765, for a free case evaluation.

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