Judge affirms $44K post-trial costs against Galaxy Products & Services

By Nicholas Malfitano | Feb 1, 2016

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania  

PHILADELPHIA – A federal court judge has affirmed a determination regarding the taxes levied upon a plaintiff who came out on the losing end of a fraud action.

On Tuesday, Judge Robert F. Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania upheld an order to charge Galaxy Products & Services, Inc. taxes in the amount of $44,128.51, for costs incurred after its litigation with AMI Network Entertainment, Inc.

On Aug. 4, Judge Mary A. McLaughlin, entered a judgment in favor of AMI on its motion for summary judgment, with the clerk taxing costs in favor of AMI on Nov. 3 as follows:

- Fees of the Marshall: $190.00;

- Transcript Costs: $41,752.84;

- Printing Costs: $310.00; and

- Copying Costs: $1,875.01.

Citing Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54, Kelly stated costs should be allowed to the prevailing party and outlined a list of such costs as fees of the clerk and marshal, fees for transcripts, printing and witnesses, photocopies, docket fees and compensation of court-appointed experts and other special services. The responsibility for paying these costs was levied upon Galaxy.

Kelly added in deciding the issue, the focus of the Court was on the time the costs were incurred, as opposed to subsequent events transpiring.

Though Galaxy contended the costs undertaken by opposing counsel, such as video work and related transcription were excessive and unnecessary, AMI countered they “were necessary to the defense of the numerous claims brought by Galaxy and Global against them” and “all of the depositions were for witnesses that were expected to testify at trial.”

Kelly agreed.

“From all of the foregoing we find that the Clerk’s awarding of $41,752.84 for transcript costs is supported by the record,” Kelly said.

Kelly added, “In their filings Galaxy and Global make a general complaint to being charged for all costs, even those that might be attributed to the claims of this consolidated action that were settled before the summary judgment motion was granted.”

Kelly stated Galaxy made no effort to specify the items they are referring to as required by Rule 54 and therefore, saw no need to discuss such general claims.

After Kelly provided his concluding rationale, he then affirmed the Clerk of Court’s taxation of costs in the amount of $44,128.51.

The plaintiff was represented by Matthew S. Olesh, Ronald S. Shaffer and William H. Stassen of Fox Rothschild in Philadelphia and Thomas L. Mueller of Lubell & Associates in King of Prussia.

The defendant was represented by Mark H. Levison of Lashly & Baer and Matthew A. Jacober of Lathrop & Gage in St. Louis, Mo., plus of James R. Kahn and Tamara Chasan of Margolis Edelstein in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case 2:12-cv-06963

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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