Gonzalez v. LewAnnotate this Case
Defendants appealed the trial court's order awarding costs to plaintiffs in a wrongful death case under Code of Civil Procedure section 998. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that the joint offer to settle both wrongful death claims was valid. The court held that the trial court properly awarded plaintiffs costs under section 998. In this case, defendants did not anticipate that either wrongful death claim, standing alone, would exceed the settlement offer. The court explained that this was precisely the situation in which an additional cost award under section 998 was appropriate and in furtherance of the goal of encouraging parties to accept reasonable settlement offers.