State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company et al v. Peter J. Hanson, P.C. et al

Filing 47

ORDER AWARDING FEES by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. (SWT)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 7 8 9 10 STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY and STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY, 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Plaintiffs, ORDER AWARDING FEES v. PETER J. HANSON, P.C. d/b/a HANSON CHIROPRACTIC and PETER J. HANSON, Defendants. This matter initially came before the Court on plaintiffs’ motion to compel better answers to plaintiffs’ requests for admission. Dkt. # 29. Pursuant to this Court’s order awarding fees and costs incurred in filing that motion under Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(5)(A), Dkt. # 37, plaintiffs submitted declarations setting forth the expenses incurred in making their motion to compel, Dkt. ## 39, 40, 41. Because those declarations failed to demonstrate the reasonableness of the fees sought, the Court ordered plaintiffs to file an amended statement of reasonable expenses that more specifically detailed the work performed on the motion to compel. Dkt. # 43. Having reviewed plaintiffs’ amended submissions, Dkt. ## 44, 45, 46, and the remainder of the record, the Court finds as follows. As before, plaintiffs seek attorney’s fees in the amount of $21,067.65, comprising $3,378 for local counsel (3.2 hours at a rate of $375 per hour, plus 8.8 hours at a rate of $247.50 per 27 28 Case No. C16-1085RSL ORDER AWARDING FEES - 1 1 hour), Dkt. # 45, and $17,689.65 for plaintiffs’ out-of-state counsel (31.1 hours at a rate of $240 2 per hour; 15.6 hours at a rate of $340 per hour; 13.4 hours at a rate of $355.50 per hour; and 0.9 3 hours at a rate of $175.50 per hour), Dkt. # 46. 4 The fee applicant bears the burden of demonstrating the reasonableness of the fees 5 requested. In their amended declarations, plaintiffs’ counsel have appropriately detailed the 6 tasks they performed during the hours listed for two general projects: “Preparation and Filing of 7 Motion to Compel” and “Preparation and Filing of Reply in Support of Motion to Compel.” See 8 Dkt. ## 45-1, 45-2, 46-1, 46-2. 9 The Court acknowledges that litigating this discovery motion was complicated by the 10 number of objections to the requests for admission raised by defendants. The Court also finds 11 that counsel’s hourly rates are reasonable. Still, the Court concludes that the fees requested 12 represent an excessive number of hours spent on this discovery motion and reply. 13 After making appropriate reductions, the Court finds that plaintiffs are entitled to 14 reimbursement of fees in the amount of $10,530.60, representing $1,689 for plaintiffs’ local 15 counsel (1.6 hours at a rate of $375 per hour, plus 4.4 hours at a rate of $247.50 per hour) plus 16 $8,841.60 for plaintiffs’ out-of-state counsel (15.5 hours at a rate of $240 per hour; 7.8 hours at a 17 rate of $340 per hour; 6.7 hours at a rate of $355.50 per hour; and 0.5 hours at a rate of $175.50 18 per hour). Defendants shall pay this amount to plaintiffs within twenty-one days of the date of 19 this order. 20 21 SO ORDERED this 3rd day of April, 2017. 22 A 23 Robert S. Lasnik United States District Judge 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER AWARDING FEES - 2

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