Code of Civil Procedure section 340.1 allows an extended statute of limitations period for claims of childhood sexual abuse. Subdivision (q) of the section permits a defendant who is sued for such a claim to recover his attorney fees in the action if the litigation has come to a “favorable conclusion” as to that defendant and the court finds that the plaintiff did not comply with the section’s requirement that the plaintiff file a certificate of merit. This decision holds that to be a “favorable conclusion,” the resolution of the case must be reflective of the merits of the sexual abuse claim against the defendant seeking a fee award. Here, plaintiff’s claim was dismissed because he did not file the required certificate of merit. That dismissal was not reflective of the merits and so the defendant may not recover his attorney fees.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division One (Aaron, J.); October 17, 2017; 2017 WL 4639245.