United States District Court, S.D. Florida
TANIA P. BERBRIDGE, Plaintiff,
SAM'S EAST, INC., a/b/a SAM'S CLUB Defendant.
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE is before the Court upon Defendant, Sam's
East, Inc.'s (“Defendant”) Motion for
Entitlement to Attorney's Fees and Costs, ECF No. 
(“Motion for Entitlement”); Defendant's Bill
of Cost, ECF No.  (“Bill of Cost”); and
Defendant's Motion to Tax Fees and Costs ECF No. 
(“Motion to Tax”). The Court has carefully
reviewed Defendant's Motions, the record, all supporting
filings, the parties' briefs, the exhibits attached
thereto, and is otherwise fully advised. For the reasons that
follow, Defendant's Motion for Entitlement is denied in
part and granted in part; Defendant's Bill of Costs is
granted in part and denied in part; and Defendant's
Motion to Tax is denied as moot.
October 15, 2016, Tania P. Berbridge
(“Plaintiff”) filed a negligence claim in the
Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court in Broward County as a
result of injuries allegedly sustained in a slip-and-fall
incident at a Sam's East, Inc. store on August 8, 2015.
ECF No. [1-1] at 1. Defendant then removed the action to this
Court. ECF No. . During the course of the proceedings,
Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, which the
Court granted, finding that no genuine issue of material fact
existed as to Defendant's alleged constructive notice.
ECF No. . Defendant timely filed its Motion for
Entitlement, Bill of Costs, and Motion to Tax, seeking an
order taxing costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920 and
awarding attorney's fees pursuant to Florida Statute
§ 768.79. ECF Nos. , , and . Additionally,
Defendant filed a Notice of Non-Objection to Bill of Costs,
wherein Defendant advised the Court of Plaintiff's
agreement to certain taxable costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C
§ 1920 in the amount of $5, 175.54. ECF No. .
Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) provides that
“[u]nless a federal statute, these rules, or a court
order provides otherwise, costs-other than attorney's
fees-should be allowed to the prevailing party.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). Although the Court has broad
discretion in determining taxable costs, a court may not
award any costs that are not authorized by statute. See
United States EEOC v. W&O, Inc. 214 F.3d 600, 620
(11th Cir. 2000). In the Motion for Entitlement, Defendant
seeks an award of costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1920,
which provides that the following costs are taxable:
(1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;
(2) Fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts
necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;
(4) Fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies
of any materials where the copies are necessarily obtained
for the use in the case
(5) Docket fees under section 1923 of this title;
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of
interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of
special interpretation services under section 1828 of this
28 U.S.C § 1920.
determining whether costs are taxable, the burden lies on the
losing party to demonstrate that the cost is not taxable,
“unless the knowledge regarding the proposed cost is a
matter within the exclusive knowledge of the prevailing
party.” Vega v. Alvarez, No. 14-21635-CIV,
2015 WL 11217233, at *1 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 21, 2015).
Nonetheless, the prevailing party is still required to submit
requests for costs with sufficient particularity so that the
Court may determine what costs were incurred and whether the
prevailing party is entitled to them. Ferguson v. N.
Broward Hosp. Dist., No. 10-61606-CIV, 2011 WL 2583754,
at *3 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 15, 2011).
Entitlement to Attorney's Fees
768.79 provides that “if a defendant files an offer of
judgment which is not accepted by the plaintiff within 30
days, the defendant shall be entitled to recover reasonable
costs and attorney's fees. . . . if the judgment is one
of no liability.” Fla. Stat. § 768.79. Section
768.79 “applies in federal diversity cases” and
“provides for a fee award when a party rejects an offer
to settle the specific lawsuit.” Panama City Beach
Condos, LP v. Adjusters Int. Co, Inc., Case No.
4:08cv369, 2009 WL 5214970, *2 (N.D. Fla. Dec. 28, 2009). To