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Barnett v. Southern California Edison Co. Long Term Disability Plan

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

December 2, 2013

WILLIAM BARNETT, Plaintiff,
v.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY LONG TERM DISABILITY PLAN, Defendant.

ORDER ON MOTION TO RE-TAX COSTS

LAWRENCE J. O'NEILL, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff William Barnett ("Barnett") brought this action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") against Defendant Southern California Edison Company Long Term Disability Plan ("the Plan"). Barnett sought reinstatement of his long term disability ("LTD") benefits. The parties agreed to forgo trial, and this Court found in favor of the Plan. After entry of judgment in favor of the Plan and against Barnett, costs were taxed to Barnett. Barnett now moves this Court to re-tax costs. For the reasons discussed below, Barnett's motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

BACKGROUND

A. Facts in Underlying Case

Barnett was employed by Southern California Edison ("Edison") as a Program Manager/Project Manager and was eligible to participate in Southern California Edison's Long Term Disability Plan.. (Doc. 23-6, p. 4 ¶ 3). Barnett had lower back surgery in 1999. (Doc. 30, p. 2 ¶ 1). In June 2000, he left work and applied for disability benefits with the Plan. (Doc. 30, p. 2 ¶ 2). The Plan certified Barnett as disabled and approved his request for benefits effective December 20, 2000. (Doc. 23-6, p. 4 ¶ 4; Doc. 30, p. 2 ¶ 3). The Plan terminated Barnett's benefits On August 26, 2009 because he no longer satisfied the Plan's definition of disability. (Doc. 30, p. 7 ¶ 28). Barnett requested reconsideration of the termination of his benefits, and the Plan denied Barnett's appeal. (Doc. 23-6, p. 5 ¶¶ 6-7).

B. Procedural History

On January 27, 2012, Barnett filed a complaint with this Court alleging three causes of action under ERISA. (Doc. 1).

Following a pretrial conference and the parties' agreement to forgo trial, this Court determined that the only remaining issue was whether, based solely on review of the administrative record, the Plan abused its discretion by termination Barnett's LTD benefits.

On August 26, 2013, this Court found that that the Plan did not abuse its discretion in terminating Barnett's LTD benefits, and, therefore, Barnett's LTD benefits should not be reinstated. (Doc. 55). After entry of judgment in its favor, the Plan submitted its bill of costs, and those costs were taxed to Barnett. (Docs. 58, 65).

Barnett now moves this Court to re-tax costs. Specifically, he challenges the taxing of the costs for the transcripts of the depositions of Francine Potter, Yvonne Torres, and David Faggert. The Plan filed an opposition on November 18, 2013, and Barnett filed a reply on November 25, 2013.

ANALYSIS

Fed. R. Civ. P. ...


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