16th Group, LLC v. Lynch Mechanical Construction, LLC

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Attorney Fees
  • Date Filed: 08-27-2014
  • Case #: A151536
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: De Muniz, S.J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Nakamoto, J.

Under ORS 20.077, attorney fees are awarded to a prevailing party on a “claim-by-claim” basis.

Lynch Mechanical Construction (Lynch) was sued by 16th Group (16th) for breach of lease. A judgment was entered for 16th, and damages were awarded for rent due, common area maintenance charges due, and damages to the property caused by removal of HVAC equipment. A supplemental judgment was then entered which awarded attorney fees to both Lynch and 16th. 16th appealed this latter judgment, arguing the court erred in awarding attorney fees to Lynch. On appeal, the Court held with 16th, finding the award of attorney fees to Lynch was in error. The parties’ contract specified that attorney fees would be awarded to the “prevailing party,” which “is the party that received a favorable judgment on a claim.” Here, 16th received the favorable judgment and the damages which accompanied it. Reversed and remanded with instructions to award 16th reasonable attorney fees; otherwise affirmed.

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