• In Rogers v Baxter Int’l, Inc, No 04 C 6476, 2011 WL 941188 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 16, 2011), the court ordered plaintiffs to pay $60,000 in costs after defendants successfully defeated plaintiffs’ breach of fiduciary duty claims. Applying the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Hardt v. Reliance Standard Life Ins., 130 S. Ct. (2010), the court determined that it had discretion to award costs when either party achieves some success on the merits. Costs were limited, however, to taxable costs as described in 28 U.S.C. Section 1920. Of the $500,000 in costs requested, defendants were awarded costs for copying and transcripts, but not costs for expert fees and e-discovery. Defendants did not seek attorney’s fees.
  • In Flores v. The Life Ins. Co. of North America, --- F. Supp. 2d ---, Civil No. L-10-0098, 2011 WL 921826 (D. Md. Mar. 17, 2011), the district court ruled that a plaintiff seeking short- and long-term disability benefits was entitled to $18,000 in attorneys’ fees even though the case was resolved prior to any ruling by the court. The court reasoned that, although plaintiff “technically prevailed in the administrative arena, this litigation was the catalyst for LINA’s decision to award her benefits,” and thus plaintiff “achieved the very prayer for relief which she sought by her original complaint.” The court rejected plaintiff’s claim for statutory penalties against LINA, the plan’s claims administrator and insurer, for failure to produce plan documents. The court held LINA could not be liable for penalties because it was not the plan administrator and the Fourth Circuit has not adopted the “de facto” plan administrator doctrine.