Judge Harold Kahn issued a tentative ruling (PDF) today awarding Kleiner Perkins $275,996.63 in costs after it won a high-profile gender discrimination case against former employee Ellen Pao. That’s far less than the nearly $1 million that Kleiner had sought, although still more than Pao wanted to pay.
In 2012, Pao sued her former employer for gender discrimination, saying that she had been passed up on promotions because of her gender. She also alleged that when she began to complain about her treatment, she was retaliated against and eventually fired. A jury disagreed with Pao in March and ruled in favor of Kleiner Perkins on all counts. In April, the venture capital firm requested $972,814 from the plaintiff, but Pao contested the bill, saying it was “improper under the law” and “grossly excessive and unreasonable.”
Pao’s lawyers argued in April that a recent California Supreme Court ruling suggested that expert witness costs could not be recovered from plaintiffs unless they had acted in bad faith—and $864,680 of Kleiner’s fees request was expert witness costs. Pao also argued that Kleiner’s original settlement offer was not made in good faith. Kleiner, for its part, argued that Pao was out of line in not accepting its settlement offer.
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