Proceedings were issued against 10 Defendants in relation to an asbestos claim. A Part 36 offer was made by the Claimant to the eighth Defendant which was accepted. As result the claims against the other Defendant's were abandoned and the Claimant lodged his bill of costs.
The Defendants argued that that it should only be paying the Claimant's costs in pursuing the claim against the eighth Defendant, and that any common costs should be apportioned between the Defendants. Further asbestos claims are divisible so that liability amongst multiple Defendants is several. As a result liability for costs should be several.
The Claimant argued that Part 36.10 applied with the effect that that Claimant was entitled to all his costs reasonably incurred in proceedings.
It was held that asbestos claims are divisible and the eighth Defendant was only ever liable for a divisible proportion of the claim. Therefore, it must follow that the eighth Defendant was only liable for a divisible proportion of the costs.