Cripe et al v. Henkel Corporation et al
OPINION AND ORDER: OVERRULING 69 OBJECTION by Gregory L Cripe to 68 Notice that Costs will be Taxed by Clerk, 67 Bill of Costs. The Clerk shall tax the defendants' costs as requested in the bill of costs 67 . Signed by Judge Philip P Simon on 2/21/2017. (lhc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
GREGORY L. CRIPE and TAMMY CRIPE,
HENKEL CORPORATION and NATIONAL
STARCH & CHEMICAL CO.,
CAUSE NO. 3:12CV829-PPS
OPINION AND ORDER
On January 5, 2017, the summary judgment motion of defendants Henkel
Corporation and National Starch & Chemical Co. was granted, and judgment was
entered accordingly. [DE 65, 66.] As prevailing parties, the defendants timely filed a bill
of costs on January 19, 2017. [DE 67.] Now before me are objections by plaintiffs
Gregory and Tammy Cripe, and defendants’ response, to which no reply has been filed.
The Cripes’ filing enumerates four objections, each stated in a single sentence
with no supporting explanation, argument or authority. I could overrule these
objections in their entirety for their failure on their face to meet the Cripes’ burden of
demonstrating the impropriety of any of the costs claimed by defendants. “There is a
presumption that the prevailing party will recover costs, and the losing party bears the
burden of an affirmative showing that taxed costs are not appropriate.” Beamon v.
Marshall & Ilsley Trust Co., 411 F.3d 854, 864 (7th Cir. 2005). The plaintiffs’ merely
conclusory objections do not persuade me that the costs the defendants seek were not
reasonable and necessary for the defense of the action. In addition, I will briefly
address the skeletal substance of each objection
The first objection is that the bill of costs was prematurely filed before the
expiration of the time for filing a notice of appeal (which the Cripes have subsequently
done). To the contrary, N.D.Ind. L.R. 54-1(a) requires a bill of costs to be filed “within
14 days after final judgment is entered.” See also National Organization for Women, Inc. v.
Scheidler, 750 F.3d 696, 698 (7th Cir. 2014). The objection is overruled.
Next the Cripes summarily object that fees are sought for transcripts that were
unnecessarily obtained. The third objection is that witness fees were unnecessary.
Henkel and National Starch have readily demonstrated the reasonableness and
necessity of the five depositions for which they seek transcript fees of $3,666.85 and
witness fees of $244.80. In this toxic tort case based on Gregory Cripe’s alleged
exposure to a toxic substance at work, it was entirely appropriate for the defense to
have deposed both plaintiffs, several of Gregory’s co-workers, and the defense expert.
The witness fees and transcript costs were reasonable and necessary.
Finally, the Cripes object that fees for “exemplification” and copies were not
necessarily expended. The thorough itemization provided in support of the bill of costs
provides more than adequate justification for the copies made in-house by defense
counsel and costs incurred for reproduction of records and materials obtained from
outside sources, such as Gregory Cripe’s medical records. [DE 67-1 at 2-3.] Over the
course of this four-year litigation, total copying costs of just over $1,100 are not shown
to be unreasonable or unnecessary.
Plaintiffs Gregory and Tammy Cripe’s Objections to the bill of costs [DE 69]are
OVERRULED. The Clerk shall tax the defendants’ costs as requested in the bill of costs
ENTERED this 21st day of February, 2017.
/s/ Philip P. Simon
PHILIP P. SIMON, JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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