A 998 offer is invalid and will not shift costs if it requires a release of claims beyond those pertaining to the action in which the 998 offer is made. Goodstein v. Bank of San Pedro (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 899 (over a dissent) allowed a 998 offer to shift costs though the offer required a CC 1542 waiver and a release of unknown claims arising the incident giving rise to the suit. But here, the 998 offer went further and required a release of all claims the plaintiff might have whether or not connected with the incident giving rise to the suit. Accordingly, the trial court properly held the 998 offer invalid and refused to shift costs even though the plaintiff recovered less by judgment than the monetary amount of the 998 offer.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 8 (Rubin, J.); August 3, 2016; 2016 WL 4131379