Gortat v. Capala Bros., No. 14-3304 (2d Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit against defendants under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 201 et seq., and the New York labor Law (NYLL). After plaintiffs prevailed, the district court awarded plaintiffs' counsel $514,284.00 in attorneys’ fees and $68,294.50 in costs. Of that amount, it awarded $10,425 to reimburse plaintiffs' counsel for costs incurred retaining an expert accountant for plaintiffs' affirmative case against defendants. Defendants appealed, arguing that the district court’s award of fees and costs constituted an abuse of discretion. The court concluded that because section 216(b) does not explicitly authorize awards reimbursing plaintiffs for expert fees, the district court erred in granting such an award pursuant to this provision. Therefore, the court vacated the district court’s award of $10,425 in costs for expert fees and remanded to the district court to consider whether the NYLL authorizes the award of such fees and, if so, whether to award them pursuant to the NYLL. In a summary order issued simultaneously with this opinion, the court affirmed in part and reversed in part as to defendants' other challenges.