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ROBINSON v. BURLINGTON NORTHERN R.R. CO.

April 30, 1997

JOYCE A. ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
BURLINGTON NORTHERN RAILROAD COMPANY, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BUCKLO

 On December 19, 1996, after a jury trial, judgment was entered in favor of the defendant, Burlington Northern Railroad Company ("Burlington Northern"). Burlington Northern has filed a Bill of Costs, seeking litigation costs of $ 10,333.77.

 The court may tax as costs the following:

 
(1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;
 
(3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;
 
(4) Fees for exemplification and copies of papers necessarily obtained for use in the case;
 
. . . .

 28 U.S.C. § 1920.

 Depositions

 Burlington Northern seeks $ 2,477.30 for court reporter fees. § 1920(2). Ms. Robinson does not object. The deponents were Ms. Robinson, and Dr. Steven Rembos, Dr. John Dwyer, and Dr. Boone Brackett, the parties' experts. These costs are taxable.

 Burlington Northern also seeks $ 1,595.00 for videotaping, editing, and displaying at trial Dr. Brackett's deposition. The court may tax the costs associated with videotaping or transcribing a deposition. Barber v. Ruth, 7 F.3d 636, 645 (7th Cir. 1993). Here, the costs of transcribing Dr. Brackett's deposition have already been allowed. Burlington Northern does not indicate whether the subject matter of the transcribed deposition was different from that of the videotaped one. However, Ms. Robinson states that reading Dr. Brackett's deposition into the record would have accomplished the same result as displaying the videotape. Burlington Northern could have clarified the issue by filing a reply brief. Therefore, I assume that the transcribed and the videotaped depositions were identical in content and disallow the costs of the latter.

 Witnesses

 Burlington Northern seeks $ 4,110.00 for expert witness fees, including $ 3,750.00 for witness services at depositions and $ 360.00 for Dr. Brackett's examination of Ms. Robinson. Section 1920(3) authorizes witness fees. However, a payment to a deponent, expert or otherwise, may not exceed the statutory limit of $ 40.00 for daily attendance. 28 U.S.C. § 1821(b); Crawford Fitting Co. v. J. T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 445, 107 S. Ct. 2494, 96 L. Ed. 2d 385 (1987). Since Burlington Northern seeks fees for Dr. Rembos' one-day deposition, Dr. Brackett's two-day deposition, and Dr. Dwyer's one-day deposition, I will award a total of $ 160.00. § 1821(a)(1) defines the witness fee specified in § 1920(3), Crawford Fitting ...


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