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Derlatka v. Pacific Employers Insurance Co.

Court of Workers Compensation of Montana

September 14, 1998

ROBERT DERLATKA Petitioner
v.
PACIFIC EMPLOYERS INSURANCE COMPANY Respondent/lnsurer MISSOULA WHITE PINE SASH Employer.,

          Submitted: August 14, 1998

          ORDER ON COSTS

          MIKE McCARTER JUDGE.

         Summary: Successful claimant filed Bill of Costs. Insurer objected to amounts billed for photocopying, faxes, telephone charges, and postage.

         Held: ARM 24.5.342 provides that documented photocopy, long-distance telephone, and postage expenses are generally found reasonable. Although respondent wanted further specification regarding telephone and postage charges (for instance, the identity of persons called) the Court approved the costs based on counsel's signature on the bill of costs representing the specific items were related to the case. Respondent's objection to the amount charged for photocopying is overruled where the Court finds the amount reasonable in light of charges made by the Court itself for copying and by the State Compensation Insurance Fund. Fax charges were disallowed based upon unanimous indication from counsel attending a rules committee meeting, including counsel in this case, that such charges are not ordinarily passed on to clients (see ARM 24.5.342(5)(c).)

         Topics:

Constitutions, Statutes, Regulations and Rules: Workers' Compensation Court Rules: ARM 24.5.342. ARM 24.5.342 provides that documented photocopy, longdistance telephone, and postage expenses are generally found reasonable. Although respondent wanted further specification regarding telephone and postage charges (for instance, the identity of persons called) the Court approved the costs based on counsel's signature on the bill of costs representing the specific items were related to the case. Respondent's objection to the amount charged for photocopying is overruled where the Court finds the amount reasonable in light of charges made by the Court itself for copying and by the State Compensation Insurance Fund. Fax charges were disallowed based upon unanimous indication from counsel attending a rules committee meeting, including counsel in this case, that such charges are not ordinarily passed on to clients (see ARM 24.5.342(5)(c).)
Costs: WCC Costs. ARM 24.5.342 provides that documented photocopy, long-distance telephone, and postage expenses are generally found reasonable. Although respondent wanted further specification regarding telephone and postage charges (for instance, the identity of persons called) the Court approved the costs based on counsel's signature on the bill of costs representing the specific items were related to the case. Respondent's objection to the amount charged for photocopying is overruled where the Court finds the amount reasonable in light of charges made by the Court itself for copying and by the State Compensation Insurance Fund. Fax charges were disallowed based upon unanimous indication from counsel attending a rules committee meeting, including counsel in this case, that such charges are not ordinarily passed on to clients (see ARM 24.5.342(5)(c).)

         ¶1 The petitioner/claimant prevailed in this case and seeks an award of costs in the amount of $687.47. Respondent has objected to the amounts billed by claimant for photocopying, faxes, telephone charges and postage.

         ¶2 The Workers' Compensation Court rule regarding costs provides in relevant part:

         24.5.342 TAXATION OF COSTS

(3) The court will allow reasonable costs. The reasonableness of a given item of cost claimed is judged in light of the facts and circumstances of the case, and the issues upon which the claimant prevailed.
(4) The following are examples of costs that are generally found to be reasonable.
(a) deposition costs (reporter's fee and transcription cost), if the deposition is ...

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