Surety Wins...But Loses

Posted by Larry A. RothsteinJul 19, 20220 Comments

This article discusses the recent case of City of Los Angeles Department of Airports v. U.S. Specialty Insurance Company, 2022 WL 2156119. It was published in the July 7, 2022 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal. The City had sought $3.4 MM against a contractor and its performance bond surety. The City prevailed on liability and was awarded $1.00 in damages. Us. Specialty, the surety, sought its attorney's fees by post trial motions. The trial court denied fees at least twice and was ultimately affirmed by the First District. While the controlling cases give the trial court discretion in determining who the prevailing party is for purposes of awarding fees, I argue that the trial court abused its discretion and the Court of Appeal should have remanded.