Seever v. Copley Press, Inc., 141 Cal. App. 4th 1550 (2006)

Michael Seever worked as a building superintendent for The Daily Breeze (owned by Copley) before the company instituted a reduction in force that resulted in the elimination of 18 positions, including Seever’s. Seever alleged discrimination on the basis of a disability (he had tripped over his cat, injuring his shoulder) and his age (50 years old). After a three-week trial, the jury rendered a unanimous verdict in favor of the company on all counts. As the prevailing party, Copley sought to recover its costs and its expert witness fees under Code of Civil Procedure Section 998. The Court of Appeal affirmed the award to Copley of most of its costs (including the costs associated with videotaping depositions and traveling to depositions). As for the $62,131 in expert witness fees granted to Copley under Section 998, the Court held that the trial court erred by failing to consider the parties’ “respective resources” in awarding to Copley all of its expert witness fees and remanded the matter back to the trial court for a further evidentiary hearing.