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.

Powell v. Adlerhorst International, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division

April 12, 2017

NATHAN POWELL, Plaintiff,
v.
ADLERHORST INTERNATIONAL, INC., a California corporation, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MICHAEL W. MOSMAN, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before me on Adlerhorst International, Inc.'s Bill of Costs [186]. Mr. Powell objects to an award of costs in general, as well as to specific costs claimed by Adlerhorst. For the reasons set forth below, Mr. Powell has only partially satisfied his burden of overcoming the presumption that Adlerhorst, as the prevailing party, is entitled to costs. Accordingly, Adlerhorst is entitled to a reduced fee award of $1, 250.00.

         BACKGROUND

         Mr. Powell sued Adlerhorst after he was attacked by Azi, a dog that Adlerhorst sold to Mr. Powell's employer, the Sherwood Police Department. In December 2015, the matter went to trial on Mr. Powell's theories of strict liability and negligence. The jury concluded that Azi was not unreasonably dangerous, thereby precluding Mr. Powell's recovery on the basis of strict liability. The jury's verdict on negligence, however, was irreconcilable and created the need for a second trial. After being significantly narrowed to a negligent failure to warn theory, the case went to trial for a second time in December 2016. The jury in the second trial concluded that Adlerhorst had not acted negligently, and accordingly, judgment was entered in favor of Adlerhorst. Adlerhorst now seeks to recover the costs it incurred from the first and second trials.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54 provides that “[u]nless a federal statute, these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs - other than attorney's fees - should be allowed to the prevailing party.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). This rule creates a presumption in favor of awarding costs to a prevailing party, meaning that “the losing party must show why costs should not be awarded” in any particular case. Save Our Valley v. Sound Transit, 335 F.3d 932, 944-45 (9th Cir. 2003). The district court has discretion to refuse to awards costs, but if it does, it must provide specific reasons for doing so. Escriba v. Foster Poultry Farms, Inc., 743 F.3d 1236, 1247 (9th Cir. 2014) (citing Ass'n of Mexican-Am. Educators v. California, 231 F.3d 572, 593 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc)). Ultimately, a district court's decision regarding costs is reviewed for abuse of discretion. See Draper v. Rosario, 836 F.3d 1072, 1087 (9th Cir. 2016).

         DISCUSSION

         In Escriba, the Ninth Circuit provided five appropriate reasons for denying costs: “(1) the substantial public importance of the case, (2) the closeness and difficulty of the issues in the case, (3) the chilling effect on future similar actions, (4) the plaintiff's limited financial resources, and (5) the economic disparity between the parties.” Escriba, 743 F.3d at 1247-48. These reasons provide “a starting point for the analysis, ” and a losing party does not need to demonstrate all five factors for a court to deny costs. Draper, 836 F.3d at 1087 (citing Escriba, 473 F.3d at 1248).

         Here, Mr. Powell relies on several of these reasons in arguing that I should exercise discretion and deny Adlerhorst's Bill of Costs in its entirety. Alternatively, Mr. Powell argues that I should deny Adlerhorst's request for particular costs, such as those pertaining to certain witnesses and transcripts not referenced during trial.

         I. Adlerhorst's Bill of Costs in Its Entirety

         Mr. Powell relies on several of the reasons from Escriba to argue that Adlerhorst's Bill of Costs in its entirety should be denied. I briefly address each of the reasons from Escriba, recognizing that they are merely a starting point for the analysis.

         A. Public Importance

         Mr. Powell does not argue that this case is of substantial public importance. In any event, this case concerns a common law tort rather than the types of civil rights at issue in cases where the Ninth Circuit has found the denial of costs to be appropriate. See, e.g., Draper, 836 F.3d at ...


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.