United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
DAVID FALTERMEIER, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated Plaintiff,
FCA U.S. LLC, Defendant.
ORDER DETERMINING COSTS
KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
David Faltermeier alleged that Defendant FCA U.S. LLC
(“FCA”) made misrepresentations during a vehicle
safety recall, causing him and other customers an
ascertainable financial loss. On March 24, 2017, the Court
granted Defendant FCA's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc.
before the Court is FCA's Proposed Bill of Costs (Doc.
213), to which Faltermeier objects (Doc. 217).
54(d)(1) provides that “[u]nless a federal statute,
these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs-other
than attorney's fees-should be allowed to the prevailing
party.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). A district court
“has discretion in determining and awarding costs in a
given case.” Pershern v. Fiatallis N. Am.,
Inc., 834 F.2d 136, 140 (8th Cir. 1987); see Marx v.
Gen. Revenue Corp., 568 U.S. 371, 377 (2013)
(“[T]he word ‘should' makes clear that the
decision whether to award costs ultimately lies within the
sound discretion of the district court.”). But, the
“prevailing party is presumptively entitled to recover
all of its costs.” Thompson v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 472 F.3d 515, 517 (8th Cir. 2006). The prevailing
party bears the burden of persuading the court that the items
and amounts sought are compensable under 28 U.S.C. §
1920 or some other authority. Combs v. Cordish Cos.,
No. 14-0227-CV-ODS, 2015 WL 5096009, at *1 (W.D. Mo. Aug. 28,
court's power to tax costs under § 1920 is limited
to the items enumerated in the statute. Taniguchi v.
Kan.Pac. Saipan, Ltd., 132 S.Ct. 1997, 2000 (2012).
‘Costs' are construed narrowly under the statute.
The Supreme Court has cautioned that “[a]lthough
‘costs' has an everyday meaning synonymous with
‘expenses, '” taxable costs “are a
fraction of the nontaxable expenses borne by litigants for
attorneys, experts, consultants, and investigators.”
Id. at 2006.
1920 identifies six expenses that may be taxed 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 title.
requests $30, 275.45 in costs (Doc. 221). Faltermeier
raises specific objections to various items in FCA's
Proposed Bill of Costs, which the Court will address in turn.
FCA's costs incurred deposing Faltermeier's witnesses
objects to $8, 525.00 in fees FCA incurred deposing
Faltermeier's witnesses. FCA may recover fees paid to
Faltermeier's experts for appearing at depositions.
See Stanley v. Cottrell, Inc., 784 F.3d 454, 465
(8th Cir. 2015) (finding fees paid to depose the losing
party's expert recoverable); Alternative Med. &
Pharm., Inc. v. Express Scripts, Inc., No. 4:14-CV-1469,
2016 WL 3443574, at *2-3 (E.D. Mo. June 23, 2016) (same).
Faltermeier's citation to Crawford Fitting Co. v.
J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437 (1987)-which addressed
“the power of federal courts to require a losing party
to pay the compensation of the winner's expert
witnesses”-is inapplicable here. See Id. at
438 (emphasis added). FCA is entitled to recover $8, 525.00
plus $38.00 it paid to a non-party witness. See Pierce v.
Moore, No. 11-CV-132, 2015 WL 2412118, at *2-3 (E.D. Mo.
May 20, 2015).
The cost of videotaped depositions is compensable in this
objects to $4, 266.50 in fees FCA paid for deposition videos;
Faltermeier does not object to fees paid for printed
transcripts. Printed and video transcripts are both
recoverable when “each transcript was necessarily
obtained for use in the case.” See Stanley,
784 F.3d at 466 (noting “[t]here are many circumstances
where both printed and electronically recorded transcripts
are necessarily obtained for use in the case, ” such as
in “a large and complex patent case”). The Court
holds that this class action case was sufficiently large and
complex such that both the printed and video transcripts were
necessarily obtained for use. FCA may recover the cost of
FCA's printing ...