Taxable Costs Reviewed by District Court in Class Action Case

16 Oct 2013

In an order from a class action lawsuit entitled Nero v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, Civil Action No. 11-cv-02717-PAB-MJW (D.Col. September 23, 2013), taxable costs under Section 1920 were at issue. After the lawsuit was filed on January 3, 2012, the defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss on January 17, 2012 and moved to stay discovery while the motion was pending. However, discovery commenced per the scheduling order and depositions were taken. On August 1, 2012, the defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, heavily citing plaintiff’s deposition in support of the motion.

The court granted the Motion to Dismiss on September 28, 2012 and defendant moved to tax costs to plaintiff. The Clerk of Court denied taxing the majority of expenses (granted #3 only, below), holding the costs cited were not necessary for the Motion to Dismiss and were incurred after said motion was filed. The district court reviewed the issue based on each alleged cost:

1. $3,827 for video and stenographic transcripts of plaintiff’s deposition, and $2,703 for deposition transcripts of defendant employees. The court taxed the costs of the transcripts and videotaped deposition, and it noted that electronic copies of the transcripts “have become such a ubiquitous part of the profession that they cannot be described as a mere convenience.”

3. $613 for transcripts of the scheduling and status conferences. The court taxed these costs as “necessarily obtained for use of the case” under 1920(2).

3. $477 for printing and copying expenses, the court taxed these costs as “fees and disbursements for printing” and “making copies,” are recoverable under 1920(3),(4).

4. $696 for loading discovery onto an electronic database. The court allowed these costs as parties are allowed to recover the amount spent on loading data onto an electronic database and converting files to TIFF or PDF formats, citing Race Car Tires v. Hoosier, 674 F.3d 158 (3rd Cir. 2012).

ILS – Plaintiff eDiscovery Experts