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Japanese Pitcher Can’t Strike Translation Costs

(CN) - Japanese baseball player Kouichi Taniguchi cannot recoup costs for translation services related to his unsuccessful personal injury action against a resort on Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, the 9th Circuit ruled Tuesday.

Taniguchi, a pitcher formerly of the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants, sued Kan Pacific Saipan Ltd.'s Marianas Resort and Spa after he fell through a deck while touring the resort.

Taniguchi initially claimed not to be hurt, but two weeks later said that he'd suffered various injuries from the fall, the ruling states.

A federal court granted summary judgment to the resort and awarded costs for translating trial documents from Japanese to English to Kan Pacific.

Taniguchi appealed the award, but a three-judge appeals panel in Honolulu affirmed the lower court's ruling.

Taniguchi argued that Kan Pacific's insurance company had assumed responsibility for all costs incurred by Kan Pacific during the litigation, but the panel was unconvinced.

"As Taniguchi alleged that his injuries caused him to lose compensation from his negotiated contract deals, it was necessary for Kan Pacific to have Taniguchi's documents and medical records translated to adequately prepare its defense," Judge Johnnie Rawlinson wrote for the panel. Because we conclude that [Federal Rules of Civil Procedure] contemplates the award of costs for translation services, we hold that the district court acted within its discretion when it determined that translation services were necessary to render pertinent documents intelligible to the litigants."

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