California Court of Appeal

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Rouland v. Pacific Specialty Insurance Company, G047919

The trial court's post-judgment order denying defendant's expert witness fees it incurred in successfully defending against plaintiffs' claims for breach of contract and insurance bad faith, is reversed and remanded, where: 1) defendant's offers to settle pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 998 satisfied a statutory requirement by directing plaintiffs to file an "Offer and Notice of Acceptance" with the trial court if they accepted the proposals; and 2) the statute merely requires the section 998 offer to identify a manner of acceptance that complies with the statute's additional requirement of a signed acceptance by the party or its counsel; and 3) on remand, the trial court can exercise its discretion in determining whether to allow defendant to recover its expert witness fees because the court did not reach that issue based on its erroneous conclusion that defendant's offers were invalid.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 10/07/2013
  • Published 10/07/2013




  • California Court of Appeal