Trial-related costs awarded in Camden daycare abuse case

DOVER — A now-closed Camden area day care owes nearly $5,800 in trial-related costs connected to claims of child abuse two months ago, a judge ruled last Friday.

While the child’s guardian sought almost $30,600 from Kiddie Kollege Institute, Superior Court Judge Robert B. Young determined that $20,840 in technology costs was not warranted; the plaintiff was awarded $150,000 after a two-week trial in May, which counsel said was covered by insurance.

“This was not a complicated trial,” Judge Young wrote in the order.

“The highly sophisticated, and clearly very expensive, all-day-every-day availability and sometimes use of technical support was, presumably, useful to plaintiff, but was not at all necessary for the jury’s consideration of the material presented.

“It cannot be considered a reasonable cost under [Delaware Code].”

A doctor’s fee of $3,714.95 for four hours of trial testimony, travel time and half the testimony rate, and hotel expense was appropriate, according to the opinion. The plaintiff sought $4,022.55.

A nurse’s charge of $1,341.50 for two hours of testimony, travel time and hotel was reasonable. The plaintiff sought $2,462.50.

The ruling also pared down requested compensation for a doctor and nurse’s expert witness fee, and a videographer for depositions by $4,053,

The fair cost of a deposition videographer services was $650, according to the opinion. The plaintiff sought $3,275.

The plaintiff’s request for a 6 percent annual interest on the post-judgement was proper, and began as of June 2, court documents said.

“Defendant’s argument that pre- and post-judgment interest are not distinguished by the statute (and, therefore, arguable not covered) is not well taken,” said Judge Young, noting that quoted case language and case law citations presented “refer only to the rate of interest.”

Both sides agreed that a $30 processing service fee was reasonable. An itemized statement of costs from the Prothonotary will be delivered, the ruling indicated.

According to an attorney for the plaintiff, a civil suit against the former business regarding another minor is scheduled for trial in July 2017.

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