United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S
BILL OF COSTS, AND GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANT'S BILL OF COSTS
MENDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Pruitt filed a lawsuit in Solano County Superior Court after
Genentech, Inc. fired him in July 2016. His ten-count
complaint alleged violations of the California Fair
Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), California
Labor Code Section 1102.5, the California Family Rights Act
(“CFRA”), and the Family and Medical Leave Act
(“FMLA”). Compl., ECF No. 1-1. He also raised
defamation and wrongful termination claims. Id.
Genentech removed this case to federal court. Notice of
Removal, ECF No. 1.
Court dismissed Pruitt's defamation claim. ECF No. 18.
Furthermore, the Court granted Genentech summary judgment on
Pruitt's FEHA discrimination claim, CFRA claim, and FMLA
claim. Minutes for 1/8/2019 Hearing; see also, Transcript of
1/8/2019 Proceedings at 28:20-29:6. The Court also granted
Genentech summary judgment on Pruitt's FEHA and Section
1102.5 retaliation claims to the extent that those claims
rested on the theory that Genentech retaliated against Pruitt
for taking medical leave. Id. at 29:9-13.
Pruitt's wrongful termination claim went to trial, as did
his FEHA and Section 1102.5 retaliation claims based on the
theory that Genentech retaliated against him for filing a
race-based discrimination complaint. The jury returned a
verdict in favor of Pruitt on his wrongful termination and
Section 1102.5 retaliation claims, and in favor of Genentech
on the FEHA retaliation claim. Jury Verdict, ECF No. 163.
prevailing party in this action, Plaintiff seeks to recover
costs totaling $17, 072.16. Plf.'s Bill of Costs, ECF No.
167. Genentech opposes Pruitt's motion and seeks to
recover the costs incurred after Pruitt rejected its Rule 68
offer. Def.'s Bill of Costs, ECF No. 169; Def.'s
Objections, ECF No. 170. Pruitt opposes Genentech's
claimed costs. Plf.'s Objections, ECF No. 171. For the
reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES
IN PART Pruitt's bill of costs, and GRANTS IN PART AND
DENIES IN PART Genentech's bill of costs.
general, “costs-other than attorney's fees-should
be allowed to the prevailing party.” Fed. R. Civ. Proc.
54(d)(1). A party's bill of costs must conform to 28
U.S.C. § 1924. E.D. Cal. L.R. 292(b). It must
“itemize the costs claimed and  be supported by a
memorandum of costs and an affidavit of counsel that costs
claimed are allowable by law, are correctly stated, and were
necessarily incurred.” Id. “The party
against whom costs are claimed may . . . file specific
objections to claimed items with a statement of grounds for
objections.” E.D. Cal. L.R. 292(c). The objecting party
bears the burden of presenting reasons that are
“sufficiently persuasive to overcome the presumption in
favor of an award.” In re Online DVD-Rental Antitrust
Litig., 779 F.3d 914, 932 (9th Cir. 2015). Ultimately, a
district court must “exercise its discretion in
determining whether to allow certain costs.” Yeager
v. Bowlin, No. 2:08-cv-102-WBS-JFM, 2010 WL 716389, at
*1 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 26, 2010) (citing Amarel v.
Connell, 102 F.3d 1494, 1523 (9th Cir. 1997)).
Pruitt's Bill of Costs
claims $17, 062.16 in costs. Plf.'s Bill of Costs at 1.
Genentech does not challenge Pruitt's $435 filing fee,
but objects to the remaining costs on three grounds: (1)
Pruitt failed to establish his claimed transcript,
demonstrative, and copying costs were necessarily incurred;
(2) Rule 68(d) bars Pruitt from collecting costs incurred
after March 18, 2019; and (3) the costs Pruitt claims for
video depositions are duplicative.
Costs Incurred following Rule 68 Offer
incurred $942.30 in costs following Genentech's March 18,
2019 offer of judgment. Although Pruitt contends Genentech
cannot recover costs following its Rule 68 offer-an argument
discussed below, infra at 6-Pruitt does not oppose
Genentech's argument that Rule 68 bars Pruitt from
recovering costs incurred after Genentech made the rejected
March 18 offer. Correctly so. Rule 68 states, “[i]f the
judgment the offeree finally obtains is not more favorable
than the unaccepted offer, the offeree must pay the costs
incurred after the offer was made.” Fed. R. Civ. Proc.
68(d). On March 18, 2019, Genentech served Pruitt with an
offer of judgment amounting to $600, 000, inclusive of costs,
expenses, and attorneys' fees. See Decl. of Julie A.
Totten ISO Genentech's Bill of Costs ¶ 2, Exh. A.
Pruitt did not accept this offer. Rather, he proceeded to
trial where the jury returned a verdict for him in the amount
of $233, 126. Verdict Form, ECF No. 163. Because Pruitt
obtained a judgment less favorable than the one Genentech
offered, the Court DENIES the $942.30 in costs he incurred
from April 1-4, 2019.
Section 1920(1) Costs
is entitled to tax “fees of the clerk” under 28
U.S.C. § 1920(1). Pruitt incurred $435 when he filed his