Court of Appeal Did Affirm 998 Cost-Shifting As To Rejected 998 Offer.
In Bean v. Pacific Coast Elevator Corp., Case No. D064587 (4th Dist., Div. 1 Mar. 10, 2015) (partially published; prejudgment interest on costs discussion published/998 costs discussion not published), plaintiff won a substantial $1.271 damages award resulting from a rear end vehicle accident against an employer whose employee ran into him. The lower court later awarded costs under CCP § 998 as well as prejudgment interest on those costs.
The appellate court affirmed all rulings, but the prejudgment interest on routine costs. It determined that prejudgment interest is only allowable as to damages under Civil Code section 3291, with damages being much different than routine costs.
The 998 cost shifting in favor of plaintiff was also sustained. The defense rejected a $999,999 section 998 offer from plaintiff, with plaintiff recovering $1.271 million after a trial. The 998 offer was “spot on,” with the defense having enough medical evidence and indication that plaintiff’s injuries were serious so as to support the conclusion the offer was reasonable and made in good faith.