Attorney Fees Allowed For Defending Magnuson-Moss Appeal

Courtney McNiff sued Mazda Motor of America under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. After they settled the dispute, Courtney’s lawyers, who had a contingency fee agreement with Courtney, petitioned the court for an award of attorney fees. Based on the lawyers’ time reports, the trial court awarded fees that were in excess of the contingency fee. Mazda appealed. The appellate court affirmed the award, stating it was within the trial court’s discretion.

Courtney’s lawyers also requested fees for defending Mazda’s appeal. The Fourth District Illinois Appellate Court allowed the appellate fees. “‘Allowing a plaintiff to petition for appellate attorney fees and costs furthers the [Magnuson-Moss] Act’s goal of providing consumers with legal assistance to enable them to pursue a remedy for injury or loss.’ … Accordingly, we grant plaintiff’s request to file a supplemental petition in the trial court for attorney fees and costs incurred in responding to defendant’s direct appeal … The trial court may award any and all fees and costs reasonably incurred in defending this ‘simple’ case on appeal.”

Get the whole opinion, McNiff v. Mazda Motor of America, No. 4-08-0817 (7/18/08), by clicking here.