Reasonableness of Expert Fees


Loving v. HHS, (Fed. Cl. Spec. Mstr. Dec. 15, 2015) (Moran, SM)

In this infamous case that set forth the six-part test for significant aggravation claims, the court awarded 189k in fees, where 284k was requested.  Respondent had originally suggested 80k but later moved to 149k.  The case involved one expert but lasted for ten years.  There were multiple hearings.  The Special Master ordered the Petitioner to created a spreadsheet detailing the expert’s charges and then ordered Respondent to respond, line by line.  The expert’s hourly rate of $250 was not in dispute.

The Special Master had several criticisms of the expert’s billing practices, lumping into poorly described entries, redundant work, and administrative tasks.  Some entries included no task information at all.  The Special Master even asked for the invoices to be amended.  For these reasons, the court reduced the fees by one-third.

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