Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Roberson v. Laird

Superior Court of Delaware

August 10, 2017

JUANITA ROBERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
BRUCE G. LAIRD, Defendant.

          Submitted: August 4, 2017

          ORDER

          VIVIAN L. MEDINILLA JUDGE.

         AND NOW TO WIT, this 10th day of August, 2017, upon consideration of Plaintiff Juanita Roberson's Motion for Costs, Defendant Bruce G. Laird's Response to Plaintiffs Motion for Costs, and the record in this case, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion for Costs is GRANTED, in part, and DENIED, in part, for the following reasons:

         Factual and Procedural Background

         1. On July 24, 2017, after a one-day trial, a Superior Court jury returned a verdict in favor of Plaintiff Juanita Roberson in the amount of $60, 000.00. The lawsuit alleged that Defendant Bruce Laird was negligent in operating his motor vehicle, causing Plaintiff, a passenger in her husband's vehicle, to suffer personal injuries when Defendant's vehicle abruptly struck the left side of Plaintiff s vehicle. Her husband and co-Plaintiff, Colie Roberson, settled his claim shortly before trial.

         2. On July 31, 2017, Plaintiff filed the pending Motion for Costs. Plaintiff moves to recover the following costs: (1) $3, 000.00 for expert testimony of Conrad King, M.D.; (2) $3, 500.00 for expert testimony of Mark Eskander, M.D.; (3) $455.80 for Dr. King's deposition transcript; and (4) $501.80 for Dr. Eskander's deposition transcript. The total amount sought in the Motion equals $7, 457.60.

         3. On August 4, 2017, Defendant filed his Response to Plaintiffs Motion. In his response, Defendant concedes Plaintiffs entitlement to both deposition transcript fees; however, Defendant argues that the costs sought for both experts' testimony are excessive. Defendant contends that Dr. King's fee should be reduced to $375.00 and that Dr. Eskander's fee be reduced to $563.00.

         Contentions of the Parties

         4. Plaintiffs Motion sets forth the above dollar values and summarily argues that Plaintiff is entitled to the above costs under Delaware Superior Court Civil Rule 54(d) & (h) and 10 Del. C. § 8906. Plaintiff attaches to her Motion invoices from both doctors corroborating the requested costs.

         5. Defendant contends that both expert fees should be reduced to $375.00 and $563.00, respectively. Defendant's arithmetic derives from the reasoning of the Superior Court in Smith v. Paul J. Renzi Masonry[1] Following the Smith Court's reasoning, Defendant argues, yields the above dollar values that Defendant maintains are reasonable.

         Standard of Review

         6. Rule 54(d) states that "costs shall be allowed as of course to the prevailing party upon application to the Court within ten (10) days of the entry of final judgment unless the Court otherwise directs."[2] The prevailing party is entitled to recover costs for expert witnesses "testifying on deposition" under Rule 54(h) and 10 Del. C. § 8906, provided that the deposition testimony is introduced into evidence at trial.[3] Section 8906 assigns the duty to fix costs for expert witnesses to the Court in its discretion.[4]

         Discussion

         7. Defendant's position is that the Court's reasoning in Smith yields a reasonable result in this case. In Smith, the plaintiff was awarded a jury verdict in excess of $700, 000.00 after a one-and-a-half-week trial. In the ensuing motion for costs, the plaintiff sought costs totaling $25, 786.79, including costs for two expert medical witnesses whose video trial depositions were admitted at trial. The fee for both experts for roughly two hours of video deposition testimony was $6, 000.00 and $2, 500.00, respectively. Looking to the Medical Society of Delaware's Medico-Legal Affairs Committee guidelines from 1995, the Court extrapolated the 1995 customary fees for expert medical testimony using ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.