Plaintiff reasonably rejected earlier settlement offers requiring general releases and nondisclosure agreements and so was properly awarded her attorney fees under the Song-Beverly Warranty Act after agreeing to a settlement lacking those provisions. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding $185,000 in attorney fees under the Song-Beverly Act after the case finally settled with defendant buying back plaintiff’s allegedly defective car. Plaintiff was the prevailing party entitled to a fee award despite the fact that plaintiff had turned down defendant’s early pre- and post-litigation offers of a full refund and annulment of the purchase contract because those terms were tied to the plaintiff also providing a full release of all known and unknown claims as well as a confidentiality and non-disparagement clause. Plaintiff was not required to agree to those terms, and defendants did not offer to dispense with them when she objected to them. Further, the ultimate settlement agreement did not contain those terms.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1 (McConnell, P.J.); October 21, 2016; 2016 WL 6135482