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News4th November 2011
No award of costs justified where lies told as part of proceedings caused no loss
In Annapoornamma Yerrakalva –v- (1) Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council; (2) The Governing Body Of Dearne Carrfield Primary School UKEAT/0192/11/DA, the EAT held that in the absence of any reasons to suppose that lies told as part of the proceedings in question either caused any loss or demonstrated that the claim was misconceived, no award of costs was justified. Mrs Yarrakalva had commenced proceedings against the Respondents in the Sheffield Employment Tribunal but subsequently withdrew her claim. The Employment Judge did not treat the fact that the Appellant had withdrawn her claim as constituting, or tantamount to, an acknowledgment that her case was misconceived or otherwise as in itself giving grounds for an award of costs. Nonetheless, he awarded the Respondents 100% of their costs because he held that the Claimant had lied in two specific respects in the course of the introductory processes prior to the withdrawal. The EAT reversed the decision. It held that it was necessary for the Judge in deciding whether to make an award to take into account "the nature, gravity and effect" of the lies (McPherson v BNP Paribas). The EAT held that if the Judge had considered the effect of the lies, which was minimal on the merits of the Claimant’s case, he could not have made an award of costs in this case.