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Betner v. Grayling Corp.

Superior Court of Delaware

November 2, 2018

SHIRLEY BETNER, Plaintiff,
v.
GRAYLING CORP. d/b/a CHILI'S RESTAURANT, Defendant.

          Submitted: October 11, 2018

         On Defendant's Motion for Costs. Granted in Part.

          Lawrence A. Ramunno, Esquire. Ramunno & Ramunno, Attorney for Plaintiff.

          Brian D. Tome, Esquire. Reilly, McDevitt & Henrich, Attorney for Defendant.

          Calvin L. Scott, Jr. Judge.

         1. This personal injury action was tried before a jury on September 24, 25, and 26, 2018. The Jury determined Defendant was not negligent, and therefore not liable to Plaintiff for her injuries.

         2. Defendant filed a Motion for Costs pursuant to Superior Court Civil Rule 54, 10 Del. C. §§ 5101 and 8906 on October 5, 2018.

         3. Defendant is seeking the following costs associated with the litigation:

a. Service and Filing Fees:

$742.00

b. Deposition transcript of Plaintiff's Expert:

$486.70

c. Deposition transcript of Defense's Medical Expert:

$844.80

d. Costs for Video deposition of Defense's Medical Expert:

$665.58

e. Deposition transcripts of Plaintiff and her husband:

$625.60

f. Defendant's independent medical exam:

$1, 200.00

g. Defendant's Medical Expert's testimony fees:

$1, 500.00

h. Defense Expert site inspection and testing:

$3, 438.22

i. Defense Expert "trial planning":

$28.50

j. Defendant's engineering Expert's testimony fees:

$3, 686.55

k. Fees to obtain Plaintiff's medical records:

$4447.18

l. Private Investigator to capture surveillance video:

$1, 100.00

m. Enlarged exhibits admitted at trial:

$83.88

n. Audio video support for surveillance video:

$3, 324.12

Total Costs:

$18, 473.13

         4. Plaintiff argues the costs are either unnecessary, excessive, or otherwise not allowable. Plaintiff additionally argues she has incurred substantial costs related to this litigation and has limited resources. Plaintiff requests the Court exercise its discretion and not grant any costs to Defendant.

         5. Defendant seeks the costs for service and filing fees in the amount of $742.00. Filing and service fees are routinely granted to the prevailing party.[1] Defendant will be awarded costs for service and filing fees in the amount of $742.00.

         6. Defendants seek costs related to Court's copies of transcripts of the following depositions: Plaintiff's Expert Dr. Hassman, Defendant's expert Dr. Piccioni, Plaintiff, and her husband.

         7. Under Superior Court Civil Rule 54 (f) the fees paid court reporters for the Court's copy of the transcripts are not taxable to the opposing party unless introduced into evidence. These transcripts were not introduced into evidence and Defendant will not be awarded these costs. Furthermore, "transcript costs "will not be awarded when the deposition is introduced at trial via videotape."[2]

         8. Defendant seeks to recover the production and playback costs of their medical expert Dr. Piccioni. Under Superior Court Civil Rule 54 (f), these costs are recoverable if the video deposition is introduced into evidence. ...


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