(CMR) Doctor's Hospital was not awarded any legal costs by the Grand Court after it was determined that their judicial review against the Cayman Islands Government was not entirely successful and they “chose the unsuccessful approach.”
Doctors Hospital took the Cayman Islands Government to court in 2021, seeking a judicial review of the vast unilateral concessions made by theGovernment to Health City and Aster Cayman MedCity. According to DH, these concessions unfairly distorted competition between healthcare providers on the Cayman Islands, and could ultimately compromise the quality of healthcare available.
While it was determined to be unlawful for the Government to award waivers and concessions for extremely lengthy periods without any meaningful reference to Parliament, the court did not deem either party to be fully successful.
Following the judicial review in 2022, the judge had stated “that neither party has been fully successful in this matter. My provisional view is to make no order for costs. However, if either party wishes be heard on costs, they may apply by Summons for a costs hearing.”
The parties were unable to agree the costs order and their primary position was that costs orders should be made in their favour. Therefore, on 15 November 2022, directions were given to a hearing to address the question of consequential relief and costs flowing from the Judgment. The costs of the November 2022 case management hearing were reserved.
Another hearing was held in January 2023 relating to cost. In February, Doctors Hospital sent a letter seeking an order for the Government to pay two-thirds of its costs of and associated with the January 2023 Hearing.
In a judgment delivered on June 16, the Grand court said Doctors Hospital chose the unsuccessful approach in both written and oral submissions to try to persuade the Court to make a number of newly worded declarations and recitals which required the respondent (the Government) to understandably resist at a hearing, the position is very different.
The judge said Doctors Hospital was only partly successful at the January 2013 Hearing ,albeit with a contentious declaration being granted, and it was not successful when seeking a number of declarations and recitals which also had potential significant consequences. In such circumstances neither party should be viewed as being successful.
Justice Richard Williams stated that “This is a case in which no order for costs should be made. The orders for costs made in the Judgment balanced each other out. The level of success and degree or lack of success for the Applicant concerning the various recitals and declarations sought do not make this a case in which it can be globally regarded as being the successful party or one which would merit a proportional costs order. Accordingly, I make no order for costs in relation to the January 2023 Hearing and in relation to the reserved costs order made at the 15 November 2022 Hearing.”
In 2021, Doctors Hospital also sued over institutionally registered medical practitioners.