Sat. Jun 19th, 2021

Appellant building operator challenged an order from the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), in favor of respondent building maintenance service company in a negligence action against respondent in which respondent was awarded costs and attorney’s fees.

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Appellant property owner entered into an agreement with respondent for janitorial services upon appellant’s property. The agreement contained a clause stating that respondent would indemnify appellant for respondent’s negligent acts or omissions. Plaintiff was injured on appellant’s property and filed a negligence action against respondent. Respondent filed a cross-complaint against appellant claiming negligence. Appellant filed a cross-complaint against respondent seeking indemnity and contribution under the janitorial services agreement. A jury returned a verdict in favor of respondent on the underlying negligence action and the trial court ordered that appellant take nothing on its cross-complaint against respondent. The trial court assessed costs and attorney’s fees for respondent finding that respondent was the prevailing party under Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1032. The court affirmed the portion of the order granting respondent costs as the prevailing party, but ruled that the costs could only be computed from the time that the cross-complaint was filed and that respondent was not entitled to attorney’s fees under § 1032 or by the language in the agreement between the parties.


The court affirmed the order that granted costs to respondent building maintenance service company as the prevailing party in a negligence action filed by plaintiff for injuries incurred on appellant building operator’s property. The court reversed the portion of the judgment granting respondent’s costs incurred before the cross-complaints were filed and attorney’s fees to respondent.

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