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Brandon v. Glaxosmithkline, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Western Division

January 11, 2018

ANNE BRANDON, Plaintiff,
v.
GLAXOSMITHKLINE, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          R. DAVID PROCTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This case is before the court on Defendant's Bill of Costs (Doc. # 117) and Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Bill of Costs (Doc. # 120). The Bill of Costs is now ripe for review. For the reasons explained below, Plaintiff's objections to the Bill of Costs are due to be sustained in part and overruled in part.

         I. Legal Standards

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54, a prevailing party may recover the costs of litigation. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). The categories of taxable costs include clerk and marshal fees, “[f]ees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case, ” witness and printing fees, copying fees for materials necessarily obtained for use in the case, docket fees, and certain expert and interpretation fees. 28 U.S.C. § 1920. “The presumption is in favor of awarding costs.” Arcadian Fertilizer, L.P. v. MPW Indus. Servs., Inc., 249 F.3d 1293, 1296 (11th Cir. 2001). Plaintiff must overcome the presumption that Defendant is entitled to an award of costs. Crouch v. Teledyne Cont'l Motors, Inc., 2013 WL 203408, at *2 (S.D. Ala. Jan. 17, 2013).

         Depositions costs incurred, in whole or part, for use in a case are recoverable under § 1920(2). E.E.O.C. v. W&O, Inc., 213 F.3d 600, 620-21 (11th Cir. 2000). But, deposition costs incurred for convenience, thorough preparation, or investigation are not recoverable under § 1920(2). Id. at 620. In particular, costs associated with depositions submitted in support of summary judgment typically are recoverable. Id. at 621. “[W]hen a party notices a deposition to be recorded by nonstenographic means, or by both stenographic and nonstenographic means, and no objection is raised at that time by the other party to the method of recordation . . ., it is appropriate under § 1920 to award the cost of conducting the deposition in the manner noticed.” Morrison v. Reichhold Chems., Inc., 97 F.3d 460, 464-65 (11th Cir. 1996).

         “Use of information contained in a file is not a prerequisite to finding that it was necessary to copy the file.” W&O, Inc., 213 F.3d at 623 (quoting Cengr v. Fusibond Piping Sys., Inc., 135 F.3d 445, 455 (7th Cir. 1998)). Instead, the court must examine “whether the prevailing party could have reasonably believed that it was necessary to copy the papers at issue.” Id. Importantly, although copies made pursuant to discovery requests are recoverable, id., general copying costs are not recoverable under § 1920. Duckworth v. Whisenant, 97 F.3d 1393, 1399 (11th Cir. 1996). A party seeking an award of copying costs is responsible for explaining how the photocopies were used. Crouch, 2013 WL 203408, at *2.

         II. Analysis of Plaintiff's Objections

         In its Bill of Costs, Defendant asks the court to tax the following costs to Plaintiff:

1. Fees for printed and electronically recorded transcripts in the amount of $9, 924.56;
2. Witness fees in the amount of $70.78; and
3. Copying and exemplification fees in the amount of $3, 243.87.

(Doc. # 117 at 1). Plaintiff objects to all of these requested costs.

         A. Transcript Fees

         Plaintiff argues that Defendant's requested transcript fees are excessive because: (1) Defendant ordered two of the transcripts for next day delivery; (2) other transcripts were expedited; (3) Defendant requested condensed copies of certain transcripts; (4) Defendant requested deposition disks and exhibit copies for certain depositions; (5) Defendant paid charges for postage and shipping of the transcripts where electronic delivery was available; (6) Defendant paid for an exhibit binder and tabs in connection with one deposition; and (7) Defendant paid fees for synchronizing video depositions (See Doc. # 120 at 3-4). Notably, Plaintiff has not argued that the depositions of John Brandon, Gina Chaney, Tina Rezakhani, Matthew Manlove, Landy Massey, and herself were unnecessary for the case. (See id.). Because portions of all seven depositions were submitted with Defendant's Motion ...


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