Costs for Translation Services are Properly Awarded to the Prevailing Party

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In Taniguchi v. Kan Pacific Saipan Ltd., 2011 DJDAR 3574 (9th Cir. 2011), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal decided a prevailing party issue pertaining to translation services.

The plaintiff was injured when he fell through a wooden deck on the defendant’s premises. The plaintiff was a well known basketball star in Japan. He suffered serious potentially career-ending injuries and incurred various medical expenses and had to cancel contractual obligations allegedly incurred, proximately related to his injuries.

The plaintiff sued the defendant for negligence. The district court granted Kan Pacific summary judgment and awarded costs, including the costs of translating contracts and other documents from Japanese to English pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1920(6). Under that section, the district court has discretion to award fees for the compensation of interpreters as well as the cost of “special interpretation services.”

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