Published Appellate Decision: Patel v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (2019) 43 Cal.App.5th 1007
In this appeal, another consumer firm had won a trial against Mercedes-Benz for a leased lemon. Then, when requesting their attorneys’ fees, the trial court decided to only award the firm fees for the last two days of trial and for some post-trial work, denying all fees for the two-years’ worth of litigation that it took to beat Mercedes-Benz at trial. This happened because the trial court thought that the driver of the vehicle should have been the named plaintiff instead of the person on the contract. The driver had been the one making payments, but the lease was under his friend’s name because the friend had better credit. We took the case on appeal and won – the Court of Appeal decided that it did not matter who was actually getting money back from Mercedes-Benz, both plaintiffs were the prevailing party and entitled to all their reasonable fees for litigating the case and winning at trial.