Are the Costs of Demonstrative Exhibits Used with Experts Taxable under 28 U.S.C. § 1920(4) as Exemplification Costs? Case Law Split

Geiss v. Target Corp., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47841 (D.N.J. April 13, 2015):

1. Fees for exemplification under § 1920(4)

Defendant seeks fees for the enlargement and mounting of Plaintiff's medical records and charts and diagrams used at trial that were admitted into evidence. It also seeks reimbursement for a sum paid to rent a medical exhibit entitled "Endotrachael Intubation," and other "demonstrative/visual aids" used at trial by defense expert, Dr. Stephen Smith. While some courts have held that the costs of demonstrative [*6]  materials which are used only to illustrate expert testimony are normally not taxable, see, e.g., Guevara v. Onyewu, 943 F. Supp. 2d 192, 197 (D.D.C. 2013), courts in this district generally hold that taxation of reasonable costs of visual aids is allowable when such aids are admitted into evidence. See Romero v. CSX Transp., Inc., 270 F.R.D. 199, 204-05 (D.N.J. 2010) (allowing for costs of all visual aids, even where some were not admitted into evidence); see also L. Civ. R. 54.1(g)(10) ("The reasonable expense of preparing visual aids . . . is taxable as costs when such visual aids are admitted into evidence.") Here, Defendant has represented to this Court that the medical records and medical exhibit were admitted into evidence at trial, and therefore this Court will allow Defendant to recover $324.56 and $80.25, respectively, for these items. However, this Court declines to award Defendant the cost of creating the visual aids that were used only for demonstrative purposes by Dr. Smith during trial.

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