Disposed - Judgment Entered
Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle
DANIEL S. MURPHY
QAADIR MALAK MELVIN
FIGUEROA UBALDO GURROLA
PACIFICA TRUCKING LLC.
A & D TRUCKING
ADAN ORDONEZ TRUCKING
FIGUEROA UBALDO GURROLA
PACIFICA TRUCKING LLC.
COLE PEDROZA LLP ATTORNEYS AT LAW
ALBAREZ ANGELA M.
COLE PEDROZA LLP
SABER VICKI A.
KHAKSHOOY BOB BABAK
AGARWAL SANDEEP GOPAL
MCELFISH RAYMOND DAVID
SHAFFERY JOHN HUBERT
DUMITRESCU SILVIANA DANA
SHAFFERY JOHN HUBERT ESQ.
12/26/2019: Notice of Change of Firm Name
12/27/2019: Objection - OBJECTION BY DEFENDANTS TO NOTICE TO APPEAR AT TRIAL FOR ADAN ORDONEZ
12/27/2019: Objection - OBJECTION BY DEFENDANTS TO NOTICE TO APPEAR AT TRIAL FOR UBALDO GURROLA FIGUEROA
12/27/2019: Objection - OBJECTION BY DEFENDANTS TO NOTICE TO APPEAR AT TRIAL FOR NATALIA FUENTES
1/2/2020: Notice - NOTICE PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF INTENT TO OFFER VIDEO TESTIMONY AT TRIAL OF DEFENDANTS' EXPERT GENE BRUNO
1/2/2020: Exhibit List
1/3/2020: Objection - OBJECTION TO NOTICE OF INTENT TO OFFER VIDEO DEPOSITION TESTIMONY OF GENE BRUNO
1/3/2020: Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPTS
1/3/2020: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore
1/3/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION IN LIMINE BY PLAINTIFF AND DEFENDANT)
1/6/2020: Order - Dismissal
1/6/2020: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore
1/6/2020: Stipulation Re: Jury (Civil Trials)
1/6/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (JURY TRIAL)
1/6/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (JURY TRIAL)
1/7/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (JURY TRIAL)
1/8/2020: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore
1/8/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (JURY TRIAL)
DocketAcknowledgment of Satisfaction of Judgment; Filed by Malak Melvin Qaadir (Respondent)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Docketat 10:07 AM in Department 32, Daniel S. Murphy, Presiding; Nunc Pro Tunc Order[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Nunc Pro Tunc Order) of 03/11/2022); Filed by Clerk[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Nunc Pro Tunc Order)); Filed by Clerk[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketMemorandum of Costs on Appeal; Filed by Malak Melvin Qaadir (Respondent)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketAppeal - Remittitur - Appeal Dismissed (B308041); Filed by Clerk[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketAppellate Order Dismissing Appeal (NA09-25-20; B308041); Filed by Clerk[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketAppeal Record Delivered; Filed by Clerk[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketAppeal - Clerk's Transcript Fee Paid (APPELLANT PAID $48.89)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketAppeal - Notice of Fees Due for Clerk's Transcript on Appeal (NOA: 09/25/20-U); Filed by Clerk[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketAPPLICATION FOR PUBLICATION[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketDECLARATION OF DUE DILIGENCE[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketDeclaration re: Due Diligence; Filed by Malak Melvin Qaadir (Plaintiff)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Malak Melvin Qaadir (Plaintiff)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketProof of Service by 1st Class Mail[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Malak Melvin Qaadir (Plaintiff)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketSUMMONS[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by Malak Melvin Qaadir (Plaintiff)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketPLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: 1. MOTOR VEHICLE NEGLIGENCE, NEGLIGENT ENTRUSTMENT, NEGLIGENT HIRING, NEGLIGENT UNDERTAKING, NEGLIGENT RETENTION, NEGLIGENT SUPERVISION AND NEGLIGENT TRAINING; AND 2. NEGLIGENCE PER SE.[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Case Number: ****6206 Hearing Date: July 29, 2020 Dept: 32
MALAK MELVIN QAADIR,
ADAN ORDONEZ TRUCKING, et. al.
Case No.: ****6206
Hearing Date: July 29, 2020
[TENTATIVE] order RE:
MOTION to tax costs
Plaintiff Malak Melvin Qaadir (Plaintiff) commenced this action against Defendants Adan Ordonez Trucking, A&D Trucking, Adan Ordonez, Ubaldo Gurrola Figueroa (Figueroa), and Pacifica Trucking, LLC (Pacifica Trucking) (collectively, Defendants) on March 30, 2017. Plaintiff asserts causes of action for (1) negligence and (2) negligence per se. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants were driving a commercial vehicle and caused damages to his vehicle and person due to their negligence.
This case went to trial from January 6, 2020 to January 27, 2020. The jury returned a verdict in Plaintiff’s favor. Judgment was entered against Defendants Figueroa and Pacifica Trucking in the total amount of $3,464,288.
Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, a prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs in any action or proceeding. (CCP ; 1032(b).)
The statutory scheme for cost recovery establishes three categories of trial preparation expenses: (1) one category allowable as a matter of right to the prevailing party (CCP ; 1033.5(a)), (2) one category disallowable unless expressly authorized elsewhere by law (CCP ; 1033.5(b)), and (3) one category allowable or disallowable in the court’s discretion (CCP ; 1033.5(c)(4)). Even where costs are deemed allowable, such costs are only recoverable to the extent that they are (1) reasonably necessary to the conduct of the litigation rather than merely convenient or beneficial to its preparation and (2) reasonable in amount. (CCP ; 1033.5(c)(2), (3).)
“In ruling upon a motion to tax costs, the trial court’s first determination is whether the statute expressly allows the particular item and whether it appears proper on its face. ‘If so, the burden is on the objecting party to show [the costs] to be unnecessary or unreasonable.’ [Citation.] Where costs are not expressly allowed by the statute, the burden is on the party claiming the costs to show that the charges were reasonable and necessary. [Citation.] ‘Whether a cost item was reasonably necessary to the litigation presents a question of fact for the trial court and its decision is reviewed for abuse of discretion.’ [Citation.]” (Foothill-De Anza Community College Dist. v. Emerich (Foothill) (2007) 158 Cal.App.4th 11, 29-30.)
Defendants Figueroa and Pacifica Trucking (hereinafter, Defendants) move to tax Plaintiff’s Memorandum of Costs (MOC).
A. Deposition Transcription Costs
In the MOC, Plaintiff seeks to recover $1,332.50 in transcription costs for the deposition of Dr. Fardad Mobin (Mobin).
Defendants claim that these transcription costs are discretionary and not recoverable because they were not reasonably necessary to the conduct of the litigation. Defendants’ counsel explains that he covered the costs for both of Mobin’s depositions taken in this matter. (Shaffery Decl. ¶ 2.)
Plaintiff responds that these costs were reasonably necessary to the conduct of the litigation because Plaintiff incurred these costs to obtain certified copies of Mobin’s deposition transcripts from the reporter. (See CCP ; 2025.510(c).) Plaintiff provides invoices substantiating the same. (Heckard-Bryant Decl. ¶ 4, Ex. B.) Defendants offer no response in reply.
The Court concludes that these deposition transcription costs are allowable and does not tax the MOC on this basis.
B. Expert Witness Fees
In the MOC, Plaintiff seeks recovery of $150,030.91 in expert deposition fees.
Defendants argue that these expert deposition fees are not recoverable because (1) section 1033.5(b)(1) prohibits recovery of “fees of experts not ordered by the court” and (2) Plaintiff never tendered a section 998 offer.
Defendants’ argument is well-taken. Expert deposition fees are not recoverable as a matter of law under section 1033.5(b)(1). (Gorman v. Tassajara Development Corp. (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 44, 74 (noting that “expert deposition fees are not recoverable under the costs statute” and concluding that plaintiff was not entitled to recover expert deposition fees unless the experts were ordered by the court); McGarity v. Department of Transportation (1992) 8 Cal.App.4th 677, 686 (noting that expert deposition fees were “precluded by the plain language of [CCP section 1033.5(b)(1)]”).)
Plaintiff contends that these fees are recoverable as discretionary costs. Plaintiff is incorrect. Discretionary costs are allowable for “[i]tems not mentioned in” the costs statute. (CCP ; 1033.5(c)(4).) Case law cited ante has determined that expert deposition fees are included within subdivision (b)(1).
The Court taxes the MOC by $150,030.91 on this basis.
C. Exhibit Costs
In the MOC, Plaintiff requests recovery of $21,245.30 in costs for models, blowups, and photocopies of exhibits.
Defendants contend that these costs are not recoverable because the exhibits were not used at trial and thus not reasonably necessary to the litigation.
As Plaintiff notes, “there is a split in authority on whether costs related to exhibits ultimately not used at trial are recoverable.” (Segal v. Asics America Corporation (2020) 50 Cal.App.5th 659.) Several cases, including Segal in June 2020, have held that costs for exhibits not used at trial are recoverable as discretionary costs because these costs are not specifically allowable under subdivision (a) and not specifically prohibited under subdivision (b). (Benach v. County of Los Angeles (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 836, 856; Applegate v. St. Francis Lutheran Church (1994) 23 Cal.App.4th 361, 364-65.) Segal also concluded that costs for exhibits not used at trial are recoverable as allowable costs under subdivision (a)(13). Conversely, one published case has determined that costs for exhibits not used at trial are not recoverable as discretionary costs. (Seever v. Copley Press, Inc. (2006) 141 Cal.App.4th 1550, 1559), and two published cases have determined that costs for exhibits not used at trial are not recoverable as allowable costs under subdivision (a)(13) (ibid.; Ladas, supra, 19 Cal.App.4th at 775)). The Ladas court reasoned that costs for exhibits not used at trial are not allowable costs under subdivision (a)(13) because such exhibits are not “reasonably helpful to aid the trier of fact.” The Seever court reasoned that because “the Legislature has expressly stated in subdivision [(a)(13)] what is allowable (exhibits used at trial that are reasonably helpful) and implicitly what is not, the discretion granted in section 1033.5 subdivision (c)(4), to award costs for items not mentioned in section 1033.5 is simply inapplicable.” (Id. at 1559-60.)
Like the majority of appellate courts which have examined this issue, the Court finds that costs for exhibits not used at trial are recoverable, at minimum, as discretionary costs under subdivision (c). As noted by the Segal court, these costs should be recoverable in order to “reflect the reality of how complicated cases are tried. As the Benach and Applegate courts acknowledged, prudent counsel must prepare exhibits and demonstratives well in advance of trial. Given that trials are unpredictable, however, it is difficult for even the most experienced trial lawyers to divine which exhibits and demonstratives will in fact be used. Consequently, it is in counsels’ (and their clients’) interests to come to trial with copies of all exhibits and demonstratives reasonably anticipated for use in hand.”
The Court concludes that these Exhibit costs are allowable and does not tax the MOC on this basis.
D. Court Reporter Fees
In the MOC, Plaintiff seeks court reporter fees of $9,664.60.
Defendants seek to tax this item by $2,164.60. Defendants’ counsel explains that the parties agreed to split the court reporter’s statutory fee. (Shaffery Decl. ¶ 5.) Defendants’ counsel states that the court reporter’s fee was $15,000 in total so Plaintiff should only have paid the court reporter $7,500. (Shaffery Decl. ¶ 6, Ex. A.)
Plaintiff responds that the $2,164.60 is requested “due to extra charges for rush copies of transcripts on the days of trial, necessary for preparation for testimony the following day, and cross-examination.” (Opp. at 10; Heckard-Bryant Decl. ¶ 6, Ex. E.) However, the costs statute expressly disallows recovery of costs for “transcripts of court proceedings not ordered by the court.” (CCP ; 1033.5(b)(5).) Hence, these extra charges are not recoverable.
The Court taxes the MOC by $2,164.60 on this basis.
Defendants’ motion to tax costs is granted in part.
 Defendants incorrectly state that Plaintiff is seeking $150,425.33 in expert fees. According to the MOC, Plaintiff is requesting $150,030.91 in expert fees and $394.42 in ordinary witness fees. As Defendants have not challenged Plaintiff’s request for ordinary witness fees, those fees shall not be taxed.
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