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Kennedy v. KSK Investments, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division

November 24, 2017

PATRICIA KENNEDY, Plaintiff,
v.
KSK INVESTMENTS LLC and HJ FLORIDA INC., Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KARLA R. SPAULDING UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         TO THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT:

         This cause came on for consideration without oral argument on the following motion filed herein:

MOTION: PLAINTIFF'S VERIFIED APPLICATION FOR
ATTORNEY'S FEES, COSTS, EXPERT WITNESS FEES AND LITIGATION EXPENSES (Doc. No. 20)
FILED: September 16, 2017

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY.

         On April 10, 2017, Plaintiff, Patricia Kennedy, filed a complaint against Defendants, KSK Investments, LLC and HJ Florida, Inc., alleging that Defendants violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by failing to comply with the Standards for New Construction and Alterations, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36, App. A, at the Days Inn Titusville Kennedy Space Center, a place of public accommodation. Doc. No. 1. On May 3, 2017, counsel for Defendants sent an email to Thomas Bacon, Esq., one of the attorneys for Plaintiff, asking for a proposed consent decree and fee/cost demand, but the case was not resolved at that time. Doc. No. 21-1, at 1. Defendants answered the complaint on May 26, 2017. Doc. No. 14.

         Thereafter, on August 18, 2017, counsel for the parties filed a Stipulation for Approval and Entry of Consent Decree and Dismissal of Case with Prejudice, which indicated that the parties agreed that the Court should reserve jurisdiction to determine the amount of attorneys' fees, litigation expenses and costs due to Plaintiff. Doc. No. 15. The Court approved the stipulation by order dated August 30, 2017, and gave counsel leave to file the above-referenced motion. Doc. No. 17. Defendants have responded to the motion. Doc. No. 21. By order of the Court, counsel for Plaintiff filed supplemental evidence of the costs and expenses incurred. Doc. No. 27.

         The Court referred the motion to me for issuance of a Report and Recommendation. I required counsel for the parties to confer, again, in a good faith attempt to resolve the issues presented in the motion and response. Counsel for Defendants filed a transcript of this conference, which was attended by a court reporter. Doc. No. 23-1. Counsel were unable to resolve any of the issues in the motion. Accordingly, the motion is ripe for resolution.

         II. ANALYSIS.

         Counsel for the parties agree that Plaintiff is entitled to an award of attorneys' fees, including litigation expenses and costs actually incurred. See, e.g., Doc. No. 17 at 3 n.3. In support of the motion, Plaintiff filed the resumes of her counsel of record, Attorney Bacon and Philip Michael Cullen, III, Esq. Doc. Nos. 20-1, 20-2. Plaintiff also filed an invoice reflecting the tasks performed, the time expended by counsel and an unidentified paralegal, and a summary of costs and expenses without supporting documents showing the actual costs and expenses incurred. Doc. No. 20-3. Pursuant to an order of the Court, Plaintiff later filed supplemental affidavits of Attorneys Bacon and Cullen regarding the costs and expenses incurred. Doc. Nos. 27-1, 27-2.

         First, I will address the reasonable fees for the work of Plaintiff's attorneys and a paralegal. Next, I will address the litigation expenses and costs sought by Plaintiff.

         A. Attorneys' Fees.

         The ADA authorizes a court, in its discretion, to allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney's fee, including litigation expenses and costs. 42 U.S.C. § 12205. “In calculating a reasonable attorney's fee award, the court must multiply the number of hours reasonably expended on the litigation by the customary fee charged in the community for similar legal services to reach a sum commonly referred to as the ‘lodestar.'” Ass'n of Disabled Ams. v. Neptune Designed, Inc., 469 F.3d 1357, 1359 (11th Cir. 2006).

         1. Reasonable ...


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