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Settlement

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Term of 998 offer requiring plaintiff to indemnify defendant against claims by third parties on the same allegations as the complaint rendered the 998 offer ineffective to shift costs after defendant was dismissed from the action.  Though it was understandable that defendant wanted preclude wrongful death claims by heirs of the plaintiff who claimed defendant was liable for his mesothelium… Read More

To settle disputes that arose from Oracle's hiring HP's former CEO, the two signed a settlement agreement containing a "reaffirmation" clause that  stating each company’s commitment to their strategic relationship and support of their shared customer base, and that Oracle "“will continue to offer its product suite on HP platforms.”  This lengthy opinion holds that the quoted words committed Oracle… Read More

Under the recently revised Rule 23(e)(2) requires a district court to consider, in determining whether to approve a class action settlement, not only the adequacy of the relief in light of the risks of litigation, but also the effectiveness of the proposed means of distributing the settlement and the terms of any proposed award of attorney fees.  This decision holds… Read More

BPI was a subcontractor on a public works project.  The department found that BPI had not been paying its workers at the prevailing wage rate and issued a Civil Wage Penalty Assessment for the underpaid wages plus a statutory penalty.  BPI claimed the general contractor was at fault for misinforming it about the prevailing wage rate.  After BPI filed a… Read More

It is not per se a breach of the insurer's duty of good faith for it to fail to accept a reasonable settlement offer within policy limits.  Accordingly, to support a bad faith judgment against the insurer, the jury must find that the insurer acted unreasonably in rejecting (or failing to accept) even a reasonable settlement offer within policy limits. … Read More

A proper 998 settlement offer must include a provision that allows the opposing party to accept the offer by signing a statement that the offer is accepted.  A purported 998 offer lacking that provision cannot be used to shift costs if it is not accepted.  (Puerta v. Torres (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 1267.)  This decision holds that the deficient offer also… Read More

Recognizing split of authority on question of whether a defendant may challenge a good faith settlement determination on appeal from a final judgment or whether the only remedy lies in a writ petition from the good faith finding, and choosing to side with those decisions allowing a challenge on appeal from a final judgment even when the appellant did not… Read More

State Farm's 998 offer was valid and enforceable to shift costs in this case.  The signature block contained a space for signature by the attorney for the HOA, which was sufficient to identify the party in the signature line for acceptance.  Also, the 998 offer's requirement of signature on a settlement agreement releasing all claims " arising from, relating or… Read More

Defendant LLC was one of several companies run by Garrick.  It was a shell without assets or its own employees.  Other Garrick companies deposited funds in defendant's accounts when they wanted to pay its creditors including its defense attorneys.  This decision holds that the trial court did not err in adding Garrick and his other companies to the stipulated judgment… Read More

This decision holds that Trustees v. Greenough (1882) 105 U.S. 527, and Central Railroad & Banking Co. v. Pettus (1885) 113 U.S. 116 prohibit routine awards of incentive payments to named plaintiffs from a common fund class recovery.  Greenough upheld an award of attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses but rejected as without legal basis an award for the lead plaintiff's… Read More

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