A federal judge has ordered White Flint Mall to pay $112,000 in costs to Lord & Taylor LLC, denying the mall’s request that the clerk’s bill of costs be reduced.
Lord & Taylor obtained a $31 million jury verdict in 2015 for breach of contract against the mall’s owners, who closed the shopping center without the department store’s consent.
The clerk awarded Lord & Taylor $109,000 — $3,000 less than the department store claimed — and White Flint opposed the amount, arguing the department store’s litigation strategy increased costs.
In an opinion issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus declined to exercise his discretion to reduce the costs award, finding Lord & Taylor did not commit misconduct, White Flint has not presented evidence of an inability to pay, the costs were not excessive, the jury verdict was significant and the case did not adjudicate novel issues.
Titus also added $3,000 in transcript costs back into the total, finding they were necessary.
White Flint argued Lord & Taylor drove up litigation costs by initially seeking an injunction, appealing the trial court’s denial and refusing to conduct discovery reasonably. Lord & Taylor contended that White Flint adopted a “scorched-earth approach” to discovery and took every opportunity to make the litigation more costly.
The case is Lord & Taylor, LLC et al v. White Flint, L.P., 8:13-cv-01912-RWT.