Two recent decisions highlight continuing variances in how district courts handle requests for e-discovery costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920.

In Bagwe v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services, No. 11-cv-2450, 2015 WL 351244 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 27, 2015), the court denied recovery of all but $7,000 of $57,000 in submitted e-discovery costs.  The court held that the only recoverable e-discovery costs are those “akin to providing photocopies of responsive documents,” such as “converting the data obtained into readable form.”  The court held that costs associated with the “gathering, preserving, processing, searching, culling, and extracting of ESI” are not recoverable.  

In contrast, in Comprehensive Addiction Treatment Center v. Leslea, No. 11-cv-03417, 2015 WL 638198 (D. Colo. Feb. 13, 2015), the court awarded the prevailing defendant $55,000 in e-discovery costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920, including the cost of a third-party vendor to “retrieve and restore” electronic data.  The court emphasized that “[the non-prevailing] Plaintiff’s own litigation choices and aggressive course of discovery necessarily resulted in heightened defense costs.”