Can a Plaintiff Recover Expert Fees if She Didn’t Prevail on All of Her Claims?

After a three-day trial, a jury determined that in terminating Plaintiff’s employment, the defendant employer discriminated against her because of a disability. Further, Defendant interfered with her right to take family medical leave.  

The jury declined to award Plaintiff damages on the discrimination claim, but awarded her $15,000 in back pay on her family medical leave claim. Plaintiff had also alleged that in its decision to terminate her employment, Defendant discriminated against her due to her pregnancy and retaliated against her because she exercised her right to take family medical leave. However, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Defendant on those claims. Hence, she was successful on about half of her claims. 

Plaintiff’s filed a post-trial motion for supplemental relief, and the Court awarded nominal damages on the disability claim, liquidated damages on the family medical leave interference claim, and certain injunctive relief. 

Plaintiff requested reimbursement for the expense incurred in the retention of an expert who provided expert witness testimony. Defendant argued that the fee was excessive given that on Defendant’s motion, the Court excluded some of the proposed opinions the expert had developed and because Plaintiff didn’t prevail on all of her claims.  

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