Adams v. Ford Motor Co.
California Court of Appeal
132 Cal. Rptr. 3d 424 (2011)
Richard Adams regularly performed maintenance on his vehicles himself, including five vehicles manufactured by Ford Motor Company (Ford) (defendant). Adams developed mesothelioma, a cancer associated with asbestos exposure, and died. Adams’s wife and three children (plaintiffs) sued numerous defendants, including Ford and other automobile manufacturers. The plaintiffs alleged that Adams was exposed to high levels of asbestos dust while replacing brake pads on his vehicles and sought damages of $150,000 for medical expenses, $1 million for loss of earnings, and $1 million in general damages. The plaintiffs settled with several defendants for amounts ranging from $2,000 to $70,000. For example, the plaintiffs settled with Nissan for $2,000 and Isuzu for $50,000. Under California Code of Civil Procedure § 998, Ford made an offer to settle with plaintiffs for $10,000 and a mutual waiver of costs. The plaintiffs allowed the offer to expire and proceeded to trial. The jury found that Ford had no liability. Arguing that it had obtained a judgment more favorable than its rejected settlement offer, under § 998, Ford then sought to recover approximately $186,000 in costs from the plaintiffs, including $167,570 in expert-witness fees. The plaintiffs opposed this request, arguing that Ford’s § 998 settlement offer was a token offer and had not been made in good faith. The trial court granted Ford’s motion, and the plaintiffs appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Johnson, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 176,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.