Court of Appeal holds that Plaintiffs who achieve more favorable recovery than that set forth in a 998 offer must be awarded reasonable fees for work done following the offer

2021 case review: Reck v. FCA

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The Court held that a plaintiff is entitled to fees for attorney time spent after the plaintiff rejects a 998 offer, so long as the plaintiff ultimately recovers more than the 998 offered. The Court explained that the trial court retains broad discretion to evaluate post-offer attorney fees and costs and to reduce the fee recovery if appropriate, but it may not deny all fees from the date of the offer when the plaintiff’s decision to continue to litigate results in a more favorable judgment or award. In this case since Plaintiff ultimately settled for 10% more, plaintiff was entitled to fees for the time after the 998 offer was rejected.