Procedural Posture

Defendant home inspection company appealed from an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, California, denying the motion for attorney’s fees it filed after a pretrial judgment of voluntary dismissal was entered in its favor in plaintiff homebuyers’ suit against it.

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Homebuyers entered into an agreement with a home inspection company to inspect the subject property, and to provide buyers with a written report on the inspection. According to the buyers, the inspection company failed to live up to the duties of inspection, reporting, and disclosure. The buyers alleged causes of action against the company, the sellers, and several additional parties for negligence, breach of contract, fraud and deceit, constructive fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty. The buyers settled with all defendants, except the inspection company, with respect to the noncontractual causes of action. The inspection company prevailed at trial, but was not awarded attorney’s fees. On review, the appellate court concluded the inspection company was not entitled to attorney’s fees. The inspection company was not the prevailing party for purposes of recovering attorney’s fees; buyers obtained their litigation objective, recovery of damages, through settlements with other defendants.


The judgment was affirmed.