APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 711-301, DIVISION
"G" HONORABLE E. ADRIAN ADAMS, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, CARLO CONFORTO Laurence D.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, DYLAN TOSCANO AND USAA
CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY T. Gregory Schafer
composed of Judges Robert M. Murphy, Stephen J. Windhorst,
and Hans J. Liljeberg
STEPHEN J. WINDHORST JUDGE.
Carlo Conforto, appeals the trial court's September 22,
2016 judgment,  granting his motion to tax costs against
appellees, Dylan Toscano and United Services Automobile
Association. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
and Procedural History
March 18, 2011, appellant was involved in a motor vehicle
accident and as a result sustained injuries. Appellant filed
a petition for damages against appellees on February 10,
2012. A jury trial was held March 28 through March 30, 2016,
wherein judgment was rendered in favor of appellant in the
amount of $145, 708.36 plus legal interest from the date of
judicial demand and all court costs.
trial on the merits, appellant inquired into how the trial
court would like to handle expert witness fees when he had
his first expert witness on the stand. After a bench
conference with opposing counsel and the trial court, it was
agreed that the expert witness fees would be addressed after
trial at a motion to tax costs.
April 26, 2016, appellees filed a motion for JNOV and/or new
trial, which was denied by the trial court on July 11, 2016.
Appellant filed a rule to tax costs on August 9, 2016,
wherein he requested expert witness fees for Dr. Rand
Voorhies, Dr. Donald Dietz, Dr. Peter Zimmerman, Dr. Samuel
Greenburg, and Nathaniel Fentress. After a hearing, the trial
court issued judgment granting appellant's motion on
September 22, 2016. The judgment awarded expert witness fees
to appellant for four of the five experts called to testify
at trial. The trial court did not award an expert witness fee
for one expert, Dr. Samuel Greenburg, appellant's
treating physician. This appeal followed.
C.C.P. art. 1920 authorizes the taxing of
costs. Further, La. R.S. 13:3666 authorizes
expert witness fees to be taxed as costs and provides in
A. Witnesses called to testify in court only to an opinion
founded on special study or experience in any branch of
science, or to make scientific or professional examinations,
and to state the results thereof, shall receive additional
compensation, to be fixed by the court, with reference to the
value of time employed and the degree of learning or skill
B. The court shall determine the amount of the fees of said
expert witnesses which are to be taxed as costs to be paid by