HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) – The PA Supreme Court ruled that attorneys fees in a class action lawsuit against Kia Motors America were inappropriate.
The Supreme Court ruled that “Pennsylvania law is well established that a petition for attorneys’ fees is an ancillary matter, which the trial court retains authority to decide after entry of judgment on the verdict… Pennsylvania generally adheres to the ‘American Rule,’ under which ‘a litigant cannot recover counsel fees from an adverse party unless there is express statutory authorization, a clear agreement of the parties, or some other established exception.'”
The Plaintiffs’ in this 2001 class action claimed cited design defect in brake system, inadequate heat dissipation, premature wear of the brake pads, and warping of the rotors. Following a May 27, 2005 jury trial in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, a verdict was rendered in favor of the Plaintiffs on the claim for breach of express warranty; and were awarded $600 in damages per class member. Plaintiff’s counsel seeks counsel $4,125,000 in fees in and $267,513 in costs and expenses of litigation.