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Judds Brothers Construction Co. v. Mersino Dewatering, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

December 28, 2017

JUDDS BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION CO., a Nebraska Corporation; Plaintiff,
v.
MERSINO DEWATERING, INC., a Michigan Corporation; Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Laurie Smith Camp Chief United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court the Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs, ECF No. 139, filed by Defendant Mersino Dewatering, Inc. (Mersino). For the reasons stated below, the motion will be granted in part.

         BACKGROUND

         In 2015, the City of Council Bluffs, Iowa, hired Plaintiff Judds Brothers Construction Co. (Judds), as general contractor on a sewer relocation project. Judds subcontracted with Mersino to dewater the project site. After repeated unsuccessful attempts to dewater the site, Judds replaced Mersino with a different dewatering company.

         Judds brought suit against Mersino in the District Court of Douglas County, Nebraska, on November 24, 2015. ECF No. 1. In its complaint, Judds asserted claims for breach of contract, negligence, breaches of implied and express warranties of fitness for a particular purpose, and unjust enrichment. Id., Page ID 5-14. Mersino brought counter-claims against Judds for breach of contract and quantum meruit (id., Page ID 38-39) and removed the action to this Court on January 4, 2016.

         The case proceeded to trial, and on September 29, 2017, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Mersino in the amount of $43, 700.52. See ECF No. 135.

         Mersino then filed the present motion, seeking $9, 439.88 in taxable costs, $19, 429.32 in non-taxable costs, and $293, 585 in attorney's fees. Regarding costs that are taxable under 28 U.S.C. § 1920, Mersino seeks the following amounts:

1. Fees of the Clerk: $400.00
2. Fees for service of summons and subpoena: $890.00
3. Fees for printed or electronically-recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case: $6, 328.49
4. Fees and disbursements for printing: $858.68
5. Fees for witnesses: $235.01
6. Fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies of any materials where the copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case: $727.70
Total taxable costs: $9, 439.88

         Regarding the non-taxable costs, which Mersino argues are recoverable, Mersino seeks the following amounts:

1. Mediation fees: $747.50
2. Travel expenses for mediation: $1, 536.69
3. Shipping fees for discovery production: $60.00
4. Travel for depositions: $2, 284.41
5. Legal research: $10, 565.00
6. Travel for Daubert hearing: $973.27
7. Travel for final pre-trial hearing: ...

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