Home / Opinion / Civil Procedure — offer of judgment — ambiguity

Civil Procedure — offer of judgment — ambiguity

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Civil Procedure — offer of judgment — ambiguity

Where an offer of judgment was silent as to costs and attorney fees, the plaintiff is entitled to receive them.

“‘If an offer recites that costs are included or specifies an amount for costs, and the plaintiff accepts the offer, the judgment will necessarily include costs; if the offer does not state costs are included and an amount for costs is not specified, the court will be obliged by the terms of the Rule to include in its judgment an additional amount which in its discretion it determines to be sufficient to cover the costs.’ Marek, 473 U.S. at 6 (internal citation omitted). Prudential Pizza’s offer was silent as to costs and fees. Pursuant to Webb and Nordby, we resolve the ambiguity against the offeror. Sanchez is entitled to attorney fees and costs under the Rule 68 offer she accepted. The judgment of the district court denying fees and costs is reversed and the case is remanded for an appropriate award of attorney fees and other costs, and for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

Reversed and Remanded.

12-2208 Sanchez v. Prudential Pizza, Inc.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Coleman, J., Hamilton, J.

Leave a Comment