In Winer v. Family Inv. Co., Inc. 2010 WL 3920365 (2010), Chad E. Winer and Nicole M. Franklin, filed suit against Family Investment Company, Inc. dba Family Honda asserting causes of action for viola-tion of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (Civ.Code, § 1750 et seq.) (CLRA), unfair business practices (Bus. & Prof.Code, § 17200 et seq.), negligent misrepresentation, and intentional misrepresentation. The Winers alleged that they sought to purchase a white 2007 Odyssey Touring vehicle with navigation and rear entertainment systems. Family Honda had a white 2007 Odyssey Touring vehicle in stock, but it did not have a factory installed navigation system. They further alleged that the Family Honda salesperson assured them that Family Honda could install a navigation system that was identical to a factory installed system. Based on that representation, the Winers decided to purchase the vehicle, for $36,548, and they also decided to purchase a Bluetooth system. Both systems were installed after the purchase was completed. According to the Winers, the navigation system that was installed was materially different from the factory installed version and neither it nor the Bluetooth system operated properly. Purportedly, Family Honda refused to trade the vehicle for one with a factory installed navigation system. ¶ At the date set for trial, a settlement conference was held at the instance of the court. The parties settled the case. They agreed that the Winers would transfer to Family Honda their white 2007 Odyssey Touring vehicle plus $3,780 in exchange for a black 2009 Odyssey Touring vehicle with a factory installed navigation system. The settlement was placed on the record orally in open court. The court set a date for hearing motions for attorney fees and costs.
The Winers filed a motion in which they sought attorney fees in the amount of $158,872 and costs of $6,474, for a total amount of $165,346. Family Honda filed both an opposition to the Winers’ motion and an attorney fees request of its own. Family Honda sought $60,093.15 in attorney fees. The court declined to award attorney fees, finding “[t]here [was] no prevailing party for purposes of an attorney fee award.” However, it awarded costs in the amount of $6,474 to the Winers. The Winers appealed, arguing that if they were the prevailing parties for the purposes of costs, then they were the prevailing parties for the purposes of attorney fees.
The Court of Appeal disagreed, holding, in part, in an unpublished decision that “an award of costs does not necessarily get you an award of attorney fees”.