Financial Abuse of Elders and the Recovery of Attorneys' Fees

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Financial elder abuse claims are on the rise in California.[1] Companies engaging in financial transactions with people over the age of 65, like insurance or financial services companies that sell products to elders, are increasingly targets of the plaintiff’s bar.

This is largely due to the fact that the California Elder and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) includes a mandatory provision for the recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs; if the plaintiff proves by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not to be true) that the defendant committed financial elder abuse, the court must award attorneys’ fees.[2] This fee-shifting provision is unilateral; a prevailing defendant may not recover attorneys’ fees. Wood v. Santa Monica Escrow Company, 151 Cal. App. 4th 1186 (2007).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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