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Third Circuit Upholds District Court Ruling Ordering Employees to Pay University of Pittsburgh Medical Center over $300,000 after Withdrawing Lawsuit

Philadelphia employment lawyers defend clients against infringements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.A group of employees sued the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (“UPMC”), alleging that UPMC’s policy of automatically deducting a 30-minute lunch break is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Camesi v. Univ. of Pittsburgh Med. Ctr., 753 Fed. Appx. 135 (3rd Cir. 2019). During the course of litigation, the employees demanded UPMC to produce 65 million pages of documentation. UPMC objected, stating that it would be an “enormous cost” to produce that amount of documentation in the allotted timeframe. Nonetheless, UPMC produced the documents as required by the discovery requests.

The employees then withdrew the lawsuit. UPMC filed a bill of costs in District Court, requesting a total of $319,655.80. Of that total amount, $310,000 was for the cost of producing the 65 million documents requested by the employees. The District Court approved the award of costs under 28 U.S.C. § 1920. Section 1920 allows a court to tax “the cost of making copies of any materials where the copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case.”

The employees moved for review of the award and requested the District Court to reduce or vacate the amount. The District Court denied the employees request, and affirmed the amount requested by UPMC. On appeal, the Third Circuit stated, “. . . the District Court did not abuse its discretion in taxing costs against the Appellants that were also attribute to the unnamed plaintiffs. Appellants voluntarily chose to bring their claims as a class action, and their counsel presumably informed them of the risks of doing so.”

For more information, call our Philadelphia employment lawyers for Fair Labor Standards Act in Philadelphia and South Jersey at the Law Office of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green at 215-574-0600 or contact us online.