Award of Attorney Fees Under the Automobile Sale Finance Act Upheld by Court of Appeal

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In Nelson v. Pearson Ford Co., D054369 (July 15, 2010), the Fourth Appellate District upheld the trial court’s judgment awarding attorney fees to plaintiff class representative under the Automobile Sale Finance Act (“ASFA”), and denied costs to defendant in its claim under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 998.

Nelson involved a class action against the Pearson Ford car dealership for alleged violations of the ASFA, Consumers Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”) and California Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) arising from a backdated car sale contract that resulted in a car buyer paying interest for a time period when no contract existed, and for erroneously adding insurance premium to the sales price of the car which resulted in additional sales tax and financing charges.

Two separate classes were certified by the trial court: the backdating class and the insurance class.

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