Friday, March 29, 2024

Defendant's Post-Verdict Request for Damages Denied by Court on Basis Of Defense Counsels' Conduct During Trial

In the case of McManus v. Walgreens Co., Inc., No. 2:21-CV-02285-CFK (E.D. Pa. March 11, 2024 Kenney, J.), Judge Chad Kenney of the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania denied a Defendant’s post-verdict bill of cost, thereby precluding the Defendants from securing more than $130,000.00 in legal fees.

The court rejected the motion after finding that “evasive” conduct by defense counsel, including allegations that defense counsel misled the court during the course of trial, supported the court’s decision.

According to the Opinion, during the trial the defense expert testified about his findings from a site inpsection.  On cross-examination, it was brought to light that the expert had completed the site visit "sub rosa" (meaning 'in secret') during the first week of trial.

According to the Opinion, the court noted that it had later come to the court’s attention, after the entry of a defense verdict, that the Defendants’ expert witnesses had allegedly lied during his trial testimony when he claimed that the defense attorneys were not aware that the expert had performed that additional site visit relative to his expert testimony.   The court admonished the defense attorneys for not correcting this testimony while the expert witness was on the stand at trial.

Relative to the Motion for Costs presented by the Defendants as the prevailing party, the court noted that it was denying this motion given the defense counsel’s conduct in the trial, finding that the defense counsel “were in flagrant disregard for the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.  The Court's companion Order can be viewed HERE.

I send thanks to Attorney Stephen Scheuerle of the Philadelphia law firm of Hohn & Scheuerle, LLC for bringing this decision to my attention.

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