United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
Sheffield Metals Cleveland, LLC. Plaintiff,
Kimberly Kevwitch, et al., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER
PATRICIA A. GAUGHAN UNITED STATES CHIEF JUDGE.
matter is before the Court upon plaintiff's Motion for
Contempt (Doc. 65) and Motion for Costs, Expenses, and
Attorney's Fees (Doc. 66). For the following reasons, the
Motion for Contempt is DENIED and the Motion for Costs,
Expenses, and Attorney's Fees is GRANTED IN PART and
DENIED IN PART.
Sheffield M s Cleveland, LLC employed defendant Kimberly
Kevwitch from March 4, 2013 until her termination on
September 9, 2016. Defendant signed a Nondisclosure and
Noncompetition Agreement (NDNC Agreement) as part of her
employment. The NDNC Agreement provides in part: “I
agree to reimburse the Company, Mazzella, and all
subsidiaries of Mazzella for all reasonable expenses, fees
and costs incurred in connection with a proceeding to enforce
this Agreement, including reasonable attorneys' fees and
related costs and expenses.” (¶ 7(b)). Upon
termination, defendant signed a Confidential Separation
Agreement and General Release (the Release). The Release
provides in part that “any previous agreements
concerning non-competition, non-solicitation,
confidentiality, trade secrets or intellectual property will
each remain in full force and effect to the extent that they
are not inconsistent with this new Agreement.” (¶
accepting other employment, plaintiff's counsel, Fisher
Phillips, wrote letters to defendant in February and March
2017 regarding her obligations under the NDNC Agreement and
the Release. Defendant did not respond to the letters. On May
30, 2017, plaintiff filed this Verified Complaint for
Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary Injunction and
Permanent Injunctive Relief and Other Causes of Action
against defendant through its new counsel, Zashin & Rich.
Kevwitch's employer, Drexel M s, Inc., was also named as
a defendant but was subsequently voluntarily dismissed. The
Complaint asserted three claims against Kevwitch:
misappropriation of trade secrets (under federal and state
law) and breach of contract. Ultimately, defendant asserted
2, 2017, plaintiff and Kevwitch entered into an Agreed
Temporary Restraining Order which was thereafter extended.
After taking a limited deposition of defendant, the parties
filed cross-motions for summary judgment relating to three of
the counterclaims. The Court granted the plaintiff's
motion, dismissing the three counterclaims. The parties filed
cross-motions for summary judgment on the remaining claims
and counterclaim after taking defendant's deposition a
second time. The Court dismissed the misappropriation of
trade secret claims and granted plaintiff's motion as to
the breach of contract claim and the counterclaim. The Court
ordered briefing on the issues of plaintiff's reasonable
attorneys' fees, expenses, and costs as related to the
breach of the contract, and whether defendant should be found
to be in contempt for violating the court-ordered TRO.
matter is now before the Court upon plaintiff's Motion
for Contempt and Motion fo Costs, Expenses, and
Attorney's Fees. The Court will address the Motion for
Costs, Expenses, and Attorney's Fees first.
Motion for Costs, Expenses, and Attorney's Fees
seeks reimbursement of taxable expenses incurred (for which a
Bill of Costs wa filed) in the amount of $2, 000.82 for the
filing fee and depositions. Defendant does not oppose this
request (Doc. 69 at 11). Those costs are granted.
Non-Taxable Expenses and Costs
seeks non-taxable expenses and costs in the amount of $2,
895.57 for parking, travel, service of summons, and copying.
Defendant objects to the travel expenses (in the amount of
$1, 555.79) incurred in connection with the taking of
defendant's second deposition which the parties had
agreed would be taken by telephone. Otherwise, defendant does
not object to the remaining expenses sought in the amount of
Court determined in a previous Order (Doc. 44), the parties
had agreed that the deposition was to take place
telephonically and plaintiff's counsel was not entitled
to reimbursement of the fees and costs incurred with the
voluntary travel for the deposition. Therefore, non-taxable
expenses and costs are awarded in the amount of $1, 339.78.
seeks reimbursement of attorneys' fees in the amount of
$155, 904.00 for services rendered by Zashin & Rich Co.,
L.P.A and $7, 852.50 for services rendered ...