United States District Court, D. Colorado
William J. Martínez, Judge.
before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Review of
Clerk's Award of Costs. (ECF No. 183.)
insurance case proceeded to trial beginning April 10, 2017,
pursuant to the Court's diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332. Given the parties' stipulations before
trial, two issues were submitted to the jury.
the jury was asked whether Defendant had provided Plaintiff
with an adequate notification and offer of
uninsured/underinsured (“UM/UIM”) insurance, as
is required under Colorado Revised Statutes §
10-3-609(2) and Allstate Insurance Co. v. Parfrey,
830 P.2d 905 (Colo.1992)). (See ECF Nos. 100, 169.)
Before trial, the Court determined that it was
Defendant's burden to prove it had made a sufficient
UM/UIM notification and offer in compliance with §
10-3-609(2). Based on the evidence submitted, the jury
resolved this question in Plaintiff's favor, finding
Defendant's offer of UM/UIM coverage had been
non-compliant. Given the parties' stipulations, Plaintiff
was therefore entitled to reformation of his insurance
contract to provide UM/UIM coverage up to a limit of $100,
000, rather than the $25, 000 which Defendant had previously
viewed as the limit and paid; accordingly, Plaintiff was
entitled to the $75, 000 difference. (See ECF No.
100 ¶ 1; ECF No. 172.)
the jury was asked whether Defendant had unreasonably delayed
or denied payment of insurance benefits owed to Plaintiff in
violation of Colorado Revised Statutes §§ 10-3-1115
& 1116. On this question, Plaintiff had the burden of
showing that Defendant had acted without a reasonable basis.
The jury answered this question in Defendant's favor,
concluding that the payment of benefits had not been
unreasonably delayed or denied.
judgment entered on April 14, 2017 (ECF No. 172), after which
both parties submitted proposed bills of costs pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) (ECF Nos. 174, 175).
Acting under D.C.COLO.LCivR 54.1, the Clerk of Court
determined Plaintiff was the prevailing party and taxed costs
of $6, 255.92 against Defendant (out of a total of $23,
539.33 requested by Plaintiff). (See ECF Nos. 181,
seeks review of the Clerk's taxation of costs, arguing
that because Defendant prevailed on the second issue
submitted to the jury the Court should enter an Order
“for each party to bear their own costs.” (ECF
No. 183 at 3.) Defendant invokes the Court's discretion
to apportion or alter the award of costs, and argues that it
would “more fairly compensat[e] each party's
respective partial success, ” for Plaintiff to bear his
own costs. (Id.) Defendant is agnostic as to whether
this result comes in the form of “denying Plaintiff
costs, awarding Defendant costs, or apportioning costs among
the parties.” (Id. at 2, n.1.)
Defendant does not dispute the Clerk's determination that
Plaintiff was the prevailing party, and the Court finds that
determination is correct. It is well established that a party
need not succeed on all claims or issues to be deemed the
prevailing party. See Roberts v. Madigan, 921 F.2d
1047, 1058 (10th Cir. 1990). Moreover, “the prevailing
party inquiry does not turn on the magnitude of the relief
obtained.” Phelps v. Hamilton, 120 F.3d 1126,
130 (10th Cir. 1997). Here, final judgment entered in
Plaintiff's favor, awarding Plaintiff $75, 000 on his
claim of breach of contract/contract reformation. (ECF No.
172.) Plaintiff is therefore the “prevailing party,
” and presumptively entitled to costs under Rule
54(d)(1). Mitchell v. City of Moore, 218 F.3d 1190,
1204 (10th Cir. 2000).
argument is simply that it would be more fair for each party
to bear its own costs in this case. The Court disagrees. Per
the jury's findings, Defendant fell short of its
statutory duties under § 10-3-609 and its contractual
duties to Plaintiff. While Defendant prevailed on the
separate claim brought under § 10-3-1115, and thereby
avoided the more economically consequential remedies provided
by § 10-3-1116, the Court does not find it unfair for
Plaintiff, having prevailed on breach of contract claim, to
recover his costs under the ordinary and
“presumptive” operation of Rule 54(d)(1).
Mitchell, 218 F.3d at 1204; Roberts, 921
F.2d at 1058.
than to generally invoke the Court's “broad
discretion, ” Defendant makes only a cursory argument
regarding fairness, and cites no cases in which a court set
aside the usual taxation of costs under Rule 54(d)(1) on
analogous facts. Defendant's Motion therefore has not
presented an adequate basis to disrupt the presumptive award
of costs to Plaintiff under Rule 54(d)(1). Moreover, neither
party objects to the Clerk's determination of the amount
of costs properly taxed against Defendant.
Defendant's Motion for Review of Clerk's Award of
Costs (ECF No. 183) is DENIED. The Clerk's prior taxation
of $6, 255.92 against Defendant (ECF No. 182) is SUSTAINED.
 ECF No. 152 at 11-14 (citing,
inter alia, Morris v. Travelers Indem. Co. of
Am., 518 F.3d 755, 758 (10th Cir. 2008), Johnson v.
State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 158 Fed. App'x 119
(10th Cir. 2005), and 9 Steven Plitt et al., Couch ...