UNPUBLISHED DECISION ON FEES AND COSTS 1
CHRISTIAN J. MORAN, Special Master.
After receiving compensation through the Vaccine Program, Jenine Gail Fugate filed a motion for attorneys' fees and costs. Ms. Fugate is awarded
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Ms. Fugate alleged that the influenza vaccine she received caused her to suffer injuries to her left shoulder ("SIRVA"). Ms. Fugate was awarded compensation based on the parties' stipulation.
On January 3, 2017, Ms. Fugate filed the pending motion for attorneys' fees and costs. Ms. Fugate requested $21,875.00 in attorneys' fees and $958.02 in attorneys' costs. On January 6, 2017, the Secretary filed a response to Ms. Fugate's application. The Secretary did not provide any specific objections and suggested that the undersigned "exercise his discretion" when determining what amount constitutes a reasonable award of attorneys' fees and costs. Resp't's Resp., filed Jan. 6, 2017, at 3.
This matter is now ripe for adjudication.
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Because Ms. Fugate received compensation, she is entitled to an award of reasonable attorneys' fees by right. 42 U.S.C. §300aa-15(e).
The Federal Circuit has approved the lodestar approach to determine reasonable attorneys' fees and costs under the Vaccine Act. This is a two-step process.
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Ms. Fugate requests compensation for her attorney, Ms. Leah V. Durant. For work in this case, Ms. Durant charged $350 per hour and her paralegal charged $140 per hour. These rates have been found reasonable.
The second factor in the lodestar formula is a reasonable number of hours. Reasonable hours are not excessive, redundant or otherwise unnecessary.
In light of the Secretary's lack of objection, the undersigned reviewed the fee application for its reasonableness.
In addition to seeking an award for attorneys' fees, Ms. Fugate seeks compensation for costs expended. All of the costs are adequately documented and most appear reasonable. However, it is not reasonable for the Vaccine program to compensate attorneys for costs that are attributed to late fees.
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The Vaccine Act permits an award of reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. § 15(e). The undersigned finds $22,828.02 ($21,875.00 in fees and $953.02 in costs) to be a reasonable amount for all attorneys' fees and costs incurred. Pursuant to General Order No. 9, Ms. Fugate has not personally incurred any costs in pursuit of this litigation. The undersigned GRANTS the petitioner's motion and awards $22,828.02 in attorneys' fees and costs. This shall be paid as follows:
In the absence of a motion for review filed pursuant to RCFC Appendix B, the clerk of the court is directed to enter judgment herewith.