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Extra Terms and Unresponsiveness May Jeopardize Your Lemon Law Settlement Offer

12/23/2016

On October 21, 2016, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District announced the decision of Goglin v. BMW of North America, LLC, et al. (Oct. 21, 2016, No. D068442) ___Cal. App. 5th___ [2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 887, at *1].

The Goglin court affirmed a judgment awarding a plaintiff over $185,000 in attorney fees and costs for successfully settling her claims under the California Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (“Song Beverly Act”) (Civ. Code, § 1790 et seq.) and other consumer protection statutes against a manufacturer (BMW North America) and a local dealership (BMW San Diego).

The main issue in this case involved whether a vehicle buyer was entitled to attorney fees and costs under the Song-Beverly Act after refusing to accept a local dealership's pre-litigation settlement offer before she filed her complaint. The plaintiff had rejected the offer on the grounds that it required her to agree to a broad release of claims and a confidentiality clause.

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