Appellant home purchaser sued respondent seller's agent, alleging failure to disclose defective subfloors. The Superior Court of San Diego County, California, found that the claim was without legal or evidentiary support and that continued maintenance of the suit demonstrated objective bad faith warranting the sanctions under Code Civ. Proc., § 128.7, of dismissal and $60,000 for attorney fees. The purchaser and appellant attorney sought review.
The court of appeal held that the trial court acted within its discretion in awarding the Code Civ. Proc., § 128.7, sanctions. The record supported that no reasonable attorney would have concluded that the statutory and common law claims against the agent were factually and legally supported. In particular, the facts admitted by the purchaser showed that during escrow the agent provided the purchaser with photographs and reports disclosing problems with the residence's subflooring, satisfying his legal obligations to the buyer. Having provided this information, the agent—who served only as the sellers' listing agent—did not owe the buyer any additional statutory or common law duties, and there was nothing in his communications that would have misled a reasonable buyer. The claims were inconsistent with the admitted facts and well-settled law, and the record reflected that the purchaser's trial counsel had no reasonable belief in the validity of the claims.
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The court affirmed the judgment.