Cuggino v. Nationwide Insurance Company of America
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the defendants amended motion for bill of costs [Doc. # 115 ] is granted. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall tax costs in favor of defendant and against plaintiff in the sum of $6,722.89. Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 11/1/16. (JAB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
NATIONWIDE INSURANCE COMPANY
Case No. 4:15-CV-00250-CEJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on defendant’s amended bill of costs pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1920. Plaintiff objected to the original bill of costs, but she has not
filed a response to the amended bill of costs and the time allowed for doing so has
On August 2, 2016, a jury found in favor of defendant on plaintiff’s breach of
an insurance contract and vexatious refusal claims. Defendant timely filed its bill of
costs, seeking a total of $8,116.69. [Doc. #110]. Plaintiff filed three objections to
defendant’s bill of costs. [Doc. #113]. Defendant subsequently amended its bill of
costs and now requests $6,722.89.1 [Doc. #115]. The amended bill of costs reflects
the defendant’s concession to two of plaintiff’s objections. Accordingly, the Court
will address only the third objection.
Nationwide’s amended bill of costs requests $400.00 for fees of the Clerk, $2,162.55 for
fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the
case, $393.18 for fees and disbursements for printing, $129.00 for fees for witnesses, and
$3,638.16 for fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies of any materials
where the copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) grants district courts “broad discretion”
over the award of costs to prevailing parties. Little Rock Cardiology Clinic PA v.
Baptist Health, 591 F.3d 591, 601 (8th Cir. 2009). But, there are limits on this
discretion – “such costs must be set out in 28 U.S.C. § 1920 or some other
statutory authorization.” Smith v. Tenet Healthsystem SL, Inc., 436 F.3d 879, 889
(8th Cir. 2006). Under § 1920, a judge or clerk of a court may tax as costs:
(1) fees of the clerk and marshal; (2) fees for printed or electronically
recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case; (3) fees
and disbursements for printing and witnesses; (4) fees for
exemplification and the costs of making copies of any materials where
the copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case; (5) docket fees
under section 1923 of this title; (6) compensation of court appointed
experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses,
and costs of special interpretation services under section 1828 of this
28 U.S.C. § 1920(1)-(6).
Under Rule 54(d) a prevailing party is “presumptively entitled to recover all
of its costs.” In re Derailment Cases, 417 F.3d 840, 844 (8th Cir. 2005). The
burden is on the losing party to demonstrate that a request is inequitable. Concord
Boat Corp. v. Brunswick Corp., 309 F.3d 494, 498 (8th Cir. 2002). Incurred costs
must, however, be “‘necessarily obtained’ for use in the case.” Zotos v. Lindbergh
Sch. Dist., 121 F.3d 356, 364 (8th Cir. 1997).
Plaintiff’s third objection is directed to defendant’s claim to fees for
exemplification and the costs of making copies in the amount of $3,638.16. Plaintiff
argues that the amount claimed is unreasonable. Specifically, she contends
defendant seeks to recover costs for over 10,000 pages of trial exhibits when it
used fewer than 100 pages at trial. Defendant responds that the 10,000 pages of
documents were “required for use in the trial.” [Doc. #116]. Defendant further
explains that the full cost was required because (1) plaintiff submitted different
versions of exhibits, precipitating reprinting, (2) plaintiff identified all photographs
produced by either party as an exhibit, (3) defendant ultimately offered into
evidence approximately 1,200 pages of exhibits, (4) defendant produced copies of
each exhibit for the Court, opposing counsel, and the witness, and (5) the Court’s
rulings on redacting documents prompted reprinting. [Doc. #116 at 2]. The Court
finds that the exhibits defendant actually or intended to introduce at trial were
necessarily obtained for use in the case, and constitute “the cost of actually trying a
case in the courtroom.” See, e.g., Jones v. National American University, No. CIV.
06-5075-KES, 2009 WL 2005293, at *6–7 (D. S.D. July 8, 2009) (addressing
copying costs of trial exhibits). Therefore, plaintiff’s objection is overruled. Costs for
exemplification and copying in the total amount of $3,638.16 will be taxed.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the defendant’s amended motion for bill of
costs [Doc. #115] is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall tax costs in favor of
defendant and against plaintiff in the sum of $6,722.89.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 1st day of November, 2016.
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