Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, January 7, 2020


Page 1


Ninth Circuit:

Lawyers Not Entitled to Nearly $1 Million Sought for Recovery of Experts’ Fees


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling in a class-action case filed in 2007 that has gone to the U.S. Supreme Court and back, yesterday held that the District Court properly denied a motion to shift $964,212 of a $13,161,491 damage award from the class to the lawyers to compensate them for the expense of experts.

The lawyers had been awarded $5.8 million in fees.

Yesterday’s memorandum opinion affirms an order by District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson of the Central District of California who ruled last year that plaintiffs in a class action against Edison failed to show entitlement to reimbursement for the cost of experts as witnesses and consultant. The class, comprised of 20,000 Edison workers, prevailed on a single claim: that Edison breached its fiduciary duties in administering a retirement savings plan investing in retail funds rather than wholesale funds.

The Ninth Circuit opinion says:

“Here, the district court denied Appellants’ motion because they prevailed on only one of ten claims, the district court did not rely on any particular expert’s conclusions in reaching its decision on that claim, and the evidence offered in support of the motion did not show that any particular expert’s work was ‘crucial or indispensable’ to the claim upon which Appellants prevailed.”

There was no error, a three-judge panel said.

On that panel were Senior Judge Carlos Bea and Judge Andrew Hurwitz, and Danny J. Boggs. United States Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting by designation.

The case is Tibble v. Edison International, 18-55974.


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