Defendant made a 998 offer of $12,500 in total, “exclusive of reasonable costs and attorney fees if any.”  This decision holds that the offer was valid, not ambiguous, and would, if accepted, have allowed the plaintiff to recover costs and fees (if otherwise properly awardable) in addition to the offered $12,400.  Since plaintiff declined the offer and recovered less at trial, the trial court properly assessed CCP 998’s cost and fee sanctions against plaintiff.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 1 (Bendix, J., sitting by assignment); February 27, 2018 (published March 27, 2018); 2018 WL 1514226